Monday, 28 December 2015

Do we need to CLEANSE?

Why Cleanse?

Put most simply, cleansing involves giving your body a break from anything toxic, so that the body can work these toxins out of your system. The outcome of a successful and well-planned cleanse is that you will be likely to experience:
- more energy
- clearer skin
- weight loss (if needed)
- brighter eyes
- a stronger immune system
- greater mental clarity
- increased self confidence
- and when necessary a great boost against illness.

A cleanse basically cleanses your body, and makes you feel like you are bursting with energy and on top of the world!

So Why is Cleansing Necessary?
The body is constantly in a flux of cleansing, however due to the modern diet, our heightened daily stresses, the toxic chemicals we ingest daily, and the increase in chronic degenerative diseases the body often needs a helping hand and to be cleansed so that it can work more effectively to eradicate these toxins from the body.

Why Do So Many People Cleanse to Lose Weight?
Although it may seem strange - fat is actually saving your life!
The body retains fats as a way to protect the vital organs in the body from the toxins that we ingest (and create through stress). It is literally a last resort, life saving action to hang on to fat. However, this should give you some indication as to how harmful these toxins must be as to retain fat as a defence mechanism the body must be fairly desperate - as we all know - excess fat leads to a whole host of other degenerative conditions and diseases!
So when we cleanse the body of toxins, we give the body a chance to repair and strengthen itself - and when the toxins disappear, guess what happens to the protective layer of fat...yes, that disappears too!

What Does a Cleanse Do?
A cleanse helps to strengthen the organs that the body uses to flush toxins from the body on a daily basis. These include the skin, the lymphatic system, the intestines, liver, lungs, and kidneys.
These toxins could invade the body from a variety of sources including the environment, foods, drinks, stressful lifestyle (for instance alcohol, tobacco, pesticides, heavy metals, food additives, oral contraceptives, and drugs).
Cleansing works because it gives your body a break from the toxic excesses that modern life creates. By removing the body's necessity to burn energy digesting heavy, sugar and fat-laden meals and snacks that are difficult to digest and metabolise, and which play havoc with blood sugar, your energy is released to cleanse and regenerate your bodies tissues and vital organs.

Will I Need to Starve Myself?
A common misconception is that cleansing the body involves restricting your food and basically starving yourself for days on end. Not a very appealing thought, and you can understand why the people who attempt this ill-fated approach often fail and then renounce their new-found drive
for a healthy lifestyle!
A perfect example of a slightly crazy, and most definitely idiotic detox is the 'Lemonade Diet' popularised in the 1990's and somehow still being attempted across America today! This diet involves consuming nothing but homemade lemonade (containing maple syrup!) for anything up to
14 days and beyond, with the mantra - if you feel hungry, just have another glass of lemonade! I'm sure I do not have to explain the dozen flaws in this plan - but let me assure you, a proper cleanse is about abundance, not starvation. OUR detox provides you with ALL the nutrients you need and more.
To give your body the tools it needs to detoxify, cleanse and regenerate a programme must give the body even more vitamins, minerals and nutrients than normal. THIS is why ours works so well.
Our regime increases your intake of foods and drinks that serve our bodies well as building blocks...(and) provides protective antioxidants and simultaneously cuts out those habits that rob you of nutrients and optimal health.

What If I Have a Bad Day?
The most important thing to remember is that if you have a bad day it is not the end of the world and it should certainly not spell the end of your cleanse. You should use this opportunity to think about what went wrong, why you made the decision to move away from your goal and use this as an opportunity to understand how you will respond next time. Worrying about it will do no good - so don't beat yourself up, see it as a positive step towards improving your health.

What About Temptations?
There will always be temptation! The best way to combat this is to address it before it becomes a problem and two excellent techniques for doing this is to set measurable and achievable goals and to create a list of all of the benefits you will gain from following through with your cleanse and all of the things you stand to lose if you do not follow through. This list can then be copied and placed strategically around the home, office and even your car! It is also a good idea to run through the list and carefully consider each point when you wake up (to set yourself up for the day) and before you go to bed (to reward yourself and give yourself a pat on the back!).
The list can include anything you like, and can be spread over time - for instance,
- what will life be like in 1, 5, 10, 20 years if you follow through with the detox and start a new healthy lifestyle?
- If you achieved your health goals, how would this affect you?
- if you did not achieve them, what would your life be like then?

The list could look something like this:
If I Achieve My Health Goals:
- I will have loads more energy to achieve the things I want in life
- I will be able to spend more time playing with the kids
- I will be able to get up earlier and go running, swimming etc
- I will have energy all through the day
- I will have the body of my dreams
- I will be able to attract the man/woman of my dreams
- I will be able to wear a swimsuit/swimmers
this summer!
- My confidence will be through the roof
- I can buy that dress/suit/shirt I have always wanted
- I can start wearing shorts/a skirt!

If I do not follow through on my commitment to achieve my health goals:
- I will be so fat/thin for the rest of my life
- I will have no energy
- My skin will be blotchy
- I will be bloated and heavy
- I will have no mental clarity
- I will still find it difficult to get up in the morning
- I will still be too embarrassed to wear x, y, z

These are only very basic examples to give you an idea - you should really try to be as detailed as possible and as emotionally charged as possible for yourself - throw yourself into it and you will be surprised on how much of a motivating effect it can have. Be graphic, aim high with your expectations!
Of course - another great way to avoid temptation is to remove it! Clear your cupboards of ANY unhealthy foods...and enjoy it! This is a great way to embrace your new lifestyle!

'Ouch, My Head Hurts!' Is This Normal?
When cleansing people often experience what is known as 'cleanse flu' or 'cleanse crisis'. As your body is systematically cleansing itself of toxins and pollution, this is the period during the programme that these toxins are being eliminated from the body. Different people experience
different symptoms, but commonly they can include headaches, nausea, cold-like symptoms (blocked nose, shivers etc), spots and pimples etc. Different people also experience these symptoms in varying degrees of severity, with some people not experiencing them at all! Fear not though, as these feelings are never more than uncomfortable and they rarely impact too much upon your normal daily routine. The symptoms also usually occur between days 1-3, so it can be planned that these days fall over a weekend, or even better a long weekend/holiday.
The best medicine is to drink lots of fluids to help speed up the toxin flushing process, especially vegetable juices or green drnks in days 3-9'. Have lots of rest and try to relax - but remember, try to steer clear of pharmaceutical medicines (where possible) as these may end up putting more toxins back into your body.

If you wish to try the 9 day cleanse or mini 5 day cleanse contact: Toughen Up

As ever, always consult with a medical practitioner before undertaking any new dietary changes and seek their professional advice. If symptoms persist - go to see your doctor!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Aloe Vera: top 12 health benefits

Aloe Vera has so many health benefits! 

Aloe Vera contains over 200 active components including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharide, and fatty acids – no wonder it’s used for such a wide range of issues
 Humans have used aloe therapeutically for over 5000 years – The list of benefits and effects for this miraculous plant are many.

 Here is a list of the Top 12 Benefits of Aloe Vera (including some medicinal uses):
 1. Aloe Vera Is High in Vitamins & Minerals:
Aloe Vera contains many vitamins including A, C, E, folic acid, choline, B1, B2, B3 (niacin), B6. Aloe Vera is also one of the few plants that contains vitamin B12.
Some of the 20 minerals found in Aloe Vera include: calcium, magnesium, zinc, chromium, selenium, sodium, iron, potassium, copper, manganese.

 2. Aloe Vera is high in Amino Acids & Fatty Acids Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. 
There are about 22 amino acids that are necessary for the human body and it is said that 8 of these are essential. Estimates of the amino acids found in aloe range from 18-20 amino acids, with all 8 essential amino acids. Aloe Vera also includes quite an impressive range of fatty acids. Aloe contains three plant sterols, which are important fatty acids – HCL cholesterol (which lowers fats in the blood), campesterol, and B-sitosterol. All are helpful in reducing symptoms of allergies and acid indigestion. Other fatty acids include linoleic, linolenic, myristic, caprylic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic.

 3. Aloe Vera is an Adaptogen Aloe vera is a well-known adaptogen. 
An adaptogen is something that boosts the body’s natural ability to adapt to external changes and resist illness. It is thought that aloe’s power as an adaptogen balances the body’s system, stimulating the defense and adaptive mechanisms of the body. This allows you an increased ability to cope with stress (physical, emotional and environmental stress like pollution)

 4. Aloe Helps with Digestion Poor digestion is related to many diseases. 
A properly functioning digestive tract is one of the keys and foundations of health. Aloe is known to soothe and cleanse the digestive tract and help improve digestion. The interesting thing about taking aloe internally is that, because it is an adaptogen, it helps with either constipation or diarrhoea, helping to regulate your elimination cycles in whatever way you need.  It’s been a great remedy for people with problems such as irritable bowel syndrome as well as acid reflux. Aloe also helps to decrease the amount of unfriendly bacteria and in our gut keeping your healthy intestinal flora in balance. Aloe is also a vermifuge, which means it helps to rid the body of intestinal worms.

 5. Aloe Helps in Detoxification Aloe Vera is a gelatinous plant food, like seaweeds and chia seeds. 
The main benefit to consuming gelatinous plant foods in your diet is that these gels move through the intestinal tract absorbing toxins along the way and get eliminated through the colon. This will help the proper elimination of waste from your body and help the detoxification of your body.

 6.  Aloe Alkalizes the Body; disease cannot manifest in an alkaline environment. 
Most people are living and subsisting on mostly acidic foods. For great health, remember the 80/20 rule – 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acidic. Aloe Vera is an alkaline forming food. It alkalizes the body, helping to balance overly acidic dietary habits.

 7. Cardiovascular Health
There hasn’t been a lot of studies conducted on Aloe’s effect on cardiovascular health, but there has been some research to show that Aloe Vera extract injected into the blood, greatly multiplies the oxygen transportation and diffusion capabilities of the red blood cells. According to a study published in the 2000 issue of the British Medical Journal, beta sitosterol helps to lower cholesterol. By regulating blood pressure, improving circulation and oxidation of the blood, lowering cholesterol, and making blood less sticky, Aloe Vera juice may be able to help lower the risk of heart disease.

 8. Aloe Helps Boost the Immune System
Given the stresses of our daily lives, everyone can use a boost to their immune systems. The polysaccharides in Aloe Vera juice stimulate macrophages, which are the white blood cells of your immune system that fight against viruses. Aloe is also an immune enhancer because of its high level of anti-oxidants, which help combat the unstable compounds known as free-radicals, contributing to the aging process. (Free radicals are a bi-product of life itself, it is a naturally occurring process but we can overload ourselves with unnecessary free-radicals by living an unhealthy lifestyle). Aloe is also an antipyretic which means it used to reduce or prevent fever.

 9. Aloe Vera is Great for the Skin
Because of aloe’s well-known healing properties for the skin, aloe is one of the primary compounds used in the cosmetic industry. It is a known vulnerary, (meaning it helps heal wounds) and is great for applying topically to burns, abrasions, psoriasis and even to bug bites. Aloe acts as an analgesic, acting to help relieve pain of wounds. It’s feels especially good to cut a stem of aloe, place it in the fridge and rub it on sun burnt skin – the immediate soothing effect feels like an absolute lifesaver. Aloe is also an antipruritic: A substance that relieves or prevents itching. Aloe Vera is an astringent: which causes the contraction of body tissues, typically used to reduce bleeding from minor abrasions.
 Due to aloe’s high water content (over 99% water) it is a great way to hydrate, moisturize and rejuvenate the skin. Aloe increases the elasticity of the skin making it more flexible through collagen and elastin repair. Aloe is an emollient, helping to soften and soothe the skin. It helps supply oxygen to the skin cells, increasing the strength and synthesis of skin tissue and induces improved blood flow to the skin through capillary dilation.

 10. Aloe Vera is a: Disinfectant, Anti-biotic, Antimicrobial, Germicidal, Anti-bacterial, Anti-septic, Anti-fungal & Anti-viral:
Aloe Vera’s active ingredients are sulphur, lupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamic acid, urea nitrogen and phenol which are substances that prevent the growth of disease-causing micro-organisms and act as a team to provide antimicrobial activity thus eliminating many internal and external infections, also active against bacteria. It also helps to treat fungal and viral infections.

 11. Aloe Helps Reduce Inflammation 
Aloe Vera contains 12 substances, including B-sisterole, which can help to slow down or inhibit inflammation.  This may be able to help with painful joints due to stiffness and help improve joint flexibility.

12. Weight Loss 
A Secondary effect Improving your digestion, and detoxifying your body will have a secondary effect of promoting weight loss because when you start to improve your digestion you naturally eliminate more efficiently, which is a primary way that we all detoxify – through our bowels. This will lighten your toxic load on your body and will give you more energy.
The Clean9 and Aloe are different from other plans as we intend to rid of the toxins in our body. The body holds on to fat as a protection mechanism from the toxins so, if we get rid of the toxins the body let's go of the fat. This also helps us to keep the health benefits much longer post cleanse.
This helps us not 'YOYO' and go straight back to how we started before!

Friday, 13 November 2015

Fuelled by Argi

Argi+ – 6 Ways it helps you to Run

L-arginine has been called the miracle compound – and for good reason! Since Nobel Prize winner Dr Ferid Murad’s discovery of Nitric Oxide in the 1980s he says that he is no longer surprised at the ways in which amino acid L-arginine can impact on our cardiovascular system and general health. Whether taken for general health, as a sports supplement or for elite performance, Argi+ is regarded as the very best source of L-arginine that we can provide our bodies because of the synergistic combination with vitamins and herbs. As a runner, I have found that Argi+ helps me in numerous ways –
  • Argi+ makes my running easier – my steps feel lighter and my heart rate is lower for the same pace. I’ve tried this over 5k, 10k and 20k distances.
  • You are getting a huge Vitamin C and Vitamin D dose with the super fruits added in Argi+ – and, so far I’ve managed to avoid the ‘overly gaunt’ look a lot of runners get. This also means that I seem to be less likely to get colds or pick up viruses after hard training sessions.
  • Drinking Argi+ after a run means that, for me, my muscles recover faster and I get less stiffness in the following morning or the morning after. I also use a recovery protein shake (Forever Lite) too and I believe the Argi+ helps get the nutrition into the muscles more effectively. In fact, on race days, I will mix my Forever Lite protein and nutrition shake with my Argi+ in a glass of water about 3 hours before running. I then find that I have much more strength at the end of the race which I believe is because the Argi+ is helping deliver the extra protein into the muscles where it is needed.
  • With Argi+ I just feel like I’ve got more energy! If I use it late in the afternoon, it often keeps me awake and alert for a hour or two after my normal bedtime – which is not always a good idea!
  • I run faster and perform better with Argi+. On the occasions that I don’t take my Argi+ (ie. I go straight out for a run and don’t have a chance to have my Argi+ drink 45 minutes before leaving) my legs feel heavier and my breathing is more laboured. It is difficult to measure the exact impact, but I would say that I lose between 1 and 2 minutes on a 25 minute run when I am without my Argi+.
  • I also believe that Argi+ helps me to avoid injury by increasing the recovery rate of my muscles so that I reduce the risk of muscle tears and injuries when I next train. It also means that muscles are in better condition the next day or for the next run, so I am less likely to tear a muscle or develop an injury.
We know from research that L-Arginine, the key amino acid in Argi+, does help deliver more nutrition to the muscles. We also know that L-Arginine helps improve and protect the circulatory system by helping the body create sufficient nitric oxide to dilate the blood vessels and to improve the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to all of your tissues and critical organs. I feel that Argi+ is a smart addition to my nutrition. Head over to our Online Shop to order your Argi+.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Metabolism Boosting tips

  1. Keep hydrated
    Drinking the recommended 8 cups of water a day will help your body function at peak performance levels.
  2. Keep calcium levels up
    Obesity research shows that a dip in calcium levels can trigger the same hormone that causes the body to hold onto fat to be released. Choose low-fat dairy, cheese, yoghurt, tofu or oatmeal to keep your levels up.
  3. Vitamin C
    Vitamin C and calcium work together like a fat-burning dynamic duo. Calcium speeds up your metabolism whilst vitamin C helps the body to absorb the mineral.
  4. Vitamin B
    B is key to maintaining a healthy metabolism. Try adding nuts, seeds, chicken, beef or fish into your diet.
  5. Reduce alcohol There is a significant dip in your metabolic rate following a night of drinking. Combined with hangover cravings and you are in for double trouble.
  6. Eat constantly
    Snacking doesn't have to be a no, no. An empty growling stomach means you are not supplying enough fuel. This is a sure way to slow down your bodies basic functions. Choose high-fibre, high protein snacks like low-fat cheese, vegetables or Greek yoghurt... to curb the hunger pangs.
  7. Non diet, diet soda Although it may have low or zero calories diet sodas have adverse effects on your metabolism and can lead you to craving more sugary things.
  8. 7 to 8 hours sleep
    Sleep is essential to a healthy body as this is the time you r body gets to recover and repair. Cutting down on sleep limits the amount of healing time your body has and reduces its performance.
  9. Resistance training
    1 pound of muscle burns 35 to 50 calories whilst 1 pound of fat burns 5 to 10. You don't have to lift heavy, even light weights at high repetitions will greatly improve muscle tone and burn fat.
  10. Interval training
    Interval training, HIIT, Fartlek... this type of training allows you to burn more calories in a shorter period of time. no more 'don't have time', excuses.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Flat Belly Action Plan

Promotes increased energy and Good health

This drink can play a huge role in your plans to achieve a flatter stomach.

2 litres water
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber, sliced
1 medium lemon, sliced
12 small mint leaves

Place ingredients in a large pitcher and leave overnight.
Drink the whole pitcher throughout the following day.

Enjoy your flatter stomach and slimmer waistline.

Friday, 20 March 2015

5 Things You Don't Know About Body Fat

Fat is the ultimate three-letter word, especially the kind that you spend so much time watching your diet and hitting the gym to keep at bay (or at least to keep off your butt). But beyond making you look less-than-svelte, fat can have significant physical and emotional implications. 

Fat Comes In Different Colors
More specifically, there are different types of fat that have different hues and functions: white, brown and beige. 
  • The white fat is what most people think of as fat -- pale and useless. Useless in that it has a low metabolic rate so it doesn't help you burn any calories the way muscle does, and it's the predominant type of fat in the human body, encompassing more than 90 percent of it. In other words, it's a storage unit for extra calories.
  • Brown fat is darker in color due to a rich blood supply and can actually burn calories rather than storing them -- but only if you're a rat (or other mammal); certain critters can activate brown fat to burn calories and generate heat to keep them warm in winter. Humans, sadly, have so little brown fat that it won't help you burn calories or keep you warm.
  • The third type of fat, beige fat, is in between white and brown in terms of its calorie-burning ability, which is actually very exciting. Why? Because researchers are looking into ways to shift white fat cells into more metabolically active beige ones via diet and exercise or supplements. In fact, there is preliminary evidence that certain hormones which are activated by exercise may convert white fat cells into beige ones, as well as some evidence that certain foods such as brown seaweed, licorice root and hot peppers may have the ability to do this as well.

The Fat On Your Butt Is Healthier Than The Fat On Your Belly
It's probably safe to say that no woman favors the fat on one body part over another, but it's actually safer health-wise to be more of a pear than an apple. Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is much more responsive to the stress hormone cortisol compared to the fat on your thighs or butt, so when stress hits hard (and you don't find a healthy way to handle it), any extra calories consumed are more likely to end up around your middle.
Belly fat is also much more inflammatory than fat located elsewhere in the body and can create its own inflammatory chemicals (as a tumor would). These chemicals travel to the brain and make you hungry and tired, so you're more likely to overeat or eat junk food and not exercise, thus creating a vicious cycle and perpetuating the storage of more belly fat. The good news is that anything that helps you reduce inflammation helps reduce those signals to the brain. 
First You Burn Calories, Second You Burn Fat
The term "fat-burning" is often thrown around in fitness circles, but as an expression of weight loss, it's indirect. Before you "burn" fat, you burn calories, whether those calories come from stored carbohydrates (glycogen and blood sugar) or from stored body fat. The more calories you burn during each workout, the bigger deficit you will create and the more fat you will lose.
You can also create a calorie deficit by eating less. The trick, though, is time, since it's hard for most people to put in the time needed to burn enough calories to make a weight-loss dent. Fitness experts recommend using high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to burn as many calories as possible in as short amount of time as possible. This method, which alternates between hard/easy efforts, can burn double the calories in the same amount of time spent exercising in a steady state.
Fat Affects Your Mood
Certainly there is no easier way to ruin your day than seeing you've gone up a few numbers on the scale, but having excess fat -- especially around your belly -- activates that inflammation/cortisol cycle, which studies show may be a factor in serious mood disorders like bipolar disorder. If you're stuck in a stress/eat/gain/stress cycle, however, you're likely to experience at least a perpetually low mood, even if you don't have an actual clinical condition.
To help break the cycle, try eating a square of dark chocolate, there is just enough sugar to satisfy a stress-induced craving, but the healthy flavonoids help calm inflammation that leads to more stress. Low-fat dairy products like yogurt can have a similar effect -- the combination of calcium and magnesium can help calm the stress response.
Even Skinny People Can Have Cellulite
The dreaded c-word is caused by fat trapped under the skin (known as subcutaneous fat). The overlying skin "dimples" are created by connective tissues that tie the skin to the underlying muscle, with fat trapped in between like a sandwich. You don't need a lot of fat to cause a dimpling effect, so you can be in great shape and have low body fat but still have a little pocket of dimpled fat, for example, on your butt or the backs of your thighs.