The secret to hydration

Water and hydration is crucial for athletic success and human movement.  For the ability to allow our body to age gracefully and perform at optimal levels we must stay hydrated.  But how much do you understand the ability of the body to hydrate itself and what can we do to further improve our ability for increased hydration.

We need to MOVE!  And we need to move in a variety of ways.  This truly is the key to improving hydration through our system.  Drinking enough water throughout the day is only one step in a healthy level of hydration.  Our fascial system is a connection of tissue throughout our entire body.  Think of it as a net or a spider web of Soft tissue that surrounds and wraps around all structures of the body.  It’s a connection system and is also an enormous store of water in the body.

Thomas Myers The originator of the Anatomy Trains Myofascial Meridians explains through the Anatomy Trains website that “Fascia is the biological fabric that holds us together. You are about 70 trillion cells all humming in relative harmony; fascia is the 3-D spider web of fibrous, gluey, and wet proteins that hold them all together in their proper placement.”

We need to get water into the tissue by moving the body and the movement needs to vary to allow the fascia system that weaves its way through the body to be hydrated.  As we move and exercise water is squeezed in and out of tissue.  Without moving in a variety of ways the water we drink throughout the day has less of a chance to hydrate us efficiently.  The less we move, the more “stiffer” we feel.  This restriction or tightness may also happen due to inflammation and injury and usually the Fascia is ignored as a main cause of pain.  Thomas Myers (Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapist) explains that fascia has 10 times as many nerve endings as there is in muscle.  This is an important fact for individuals looking to reduce pain, inflammation and improve recovery.

For the athlete who ignores recovery and trains heavy on a regular basis you must be reminded that this training drives water out of the tissue which may lead to an increase in that feeling of stiffness.  Recovery should be doubled in the form of sleep, nutrition, massage or whatever options help you recover to an optimal level.  This is important for athletes looking to reduce their risk of non contact sport related injuries.  Keeping the soft tissue healthy is a great way to reduce the risk.

What are easy steps to improve hydration?

Drink water!

Move your body in a variety of different movement patterns!

RECOVER with enough sleep & clean nutrition.

Incorporate additional recovery choices like Massage, relaxation & stress reduction options.

Everyone burps…everyone farts…everyone takes a sh*t!

Here’s the thing. I don’t care what I look like. Hmmm, I’m sure that could be taken many ways! But, it’s a good thing. Everyone has things about themselves that they hate. Don’t lie… it’s human nature! We pick ourselves apart probably on a daily basis. Yes, I certainly have things I don’t like about myself but I also appreciate the ability of what I can do. The older I get the more I appreciate Me and the more I don’t care, but in a good way.

It makes me glad I have two boys. I won’t have to live with the teenage years or hormonal episodes of girls. The constant social hype of looking good & being skinny. The world will never change! I really don’t see a world of acceptance for all shapes and sizes. Sorry, not gonna happen! So why stress? Wouldn’t you want to go through each day being happy about yourself for who you are? Sounds totally cliche, I know but bare with me. I don’t care about myself…. in a good way!
What the hell does that even mean? It means I don’t give a crap if my hair is constantly tied back in a pony. It’s amazing to have your hair out of your face when you are training! What a free feeling. I don’t worry that I look like a sweaty mess after a workout and my hair looks like crap because I had an amazing workout! I moved my body… I defuzzed! I made steps to be healthier and happier!

I don’t give a crap if I hunt daily for the same gray hoody I got at a Strength & Conditioning conference. It almost never leaves my body because it’s comfortable & cozy as hell and keeps me warm! It makes me happy as a pig in shit!

I don’t give a crap if my jeans are now tighter around my ass then they were a few years ago. I have worked hard on creating a powerful, strong butt! I lift heavy shit, I push sleds, I squat, I deadlift… I look forward to a great strength workout because my ass will get bigger!.. yup, that’s right ladies… my ASS will get BIGGER! Bring it on!

I don’t give a crap about what people think of me. What has that done? It has allowed me to be myself. I can laugh and act like a complete idiot in front of true friends and clients because we have fun! We laugh, we aren’t afraid to be ourselves, to express opinions or beliefs because we CAN! I have created an amazing circle of friends through my work. My days consist of nothing but laughs, happiness and encouragement because we can be ourselves!

I don’t give a crap if what comes out of my mouth shocks you? Because every single time it has allowed another individual to express a thought or emotion they were scared to mention. It means what you say can’t be that bad??? So in a sense, I am making you look better because I’m fairly certain I would probably say something a bit more stupid anyways but, remember, I don’t care…. but in a good way!

I don’t give a crap if I wear no makeup and have no super model secrets hidden in my back pocket. How refreshing is it to not worry about make-up smudges. I save a shitload on cosmetics….because I don’t buy them! I have no worries about my sweat towel getting make-up caked on it. And wearing make-up is just way too much work!

I don’t give a crap! But in a good way! Why is it good? I am happy! I am happy that I don’t need to walk around daily struggling with “how does my hair look”. Or “Does my butt look fat in these jeans?”
Everyone burps, everyone farts, everyone takes a shit! That is my mentality. It’s freeing! It allows me to focus on important things in life. How can I be a better mother and wife? How can I make my clients fitness journey better? How can I learn and educate myself to a higher level? How can I keep myself healthy & happy? Once you start to not give a shit…. you appreciate everything!

STRONG POINTS – Tips to get going

By Contributed – Vernon Morning Star

Finding balance in your training and conditioning program can be a tough call for people with busy lives. The first thing to go is usually fitness. People find it hard to find time or the energy to be involved in a well rounded program. Finding the balance between training and life doesn’t need to be difficult and it doesn’t have to take tons of time out of your schedule. If you are finding yourself in a rut or having a hard time starting a healthier lifestyle, I hope this article gives you the motivation to start!

I asked current clients for feedback on how staying active makes them feel.
Doug H.: “Working out has really helped me mentally just knowing that I can physically accomplish so much more, like longer and more productive shifts at hockey, just tying up the skate laces easily, more day to day energy. Being in better physical shape just gives you more confidence in yourself. It took hard work to get in shape and just knowing you had the discipline to accomplish that helps you in your approach to your daily life, it makes goal setting easier knowing that same discipline can be applied to other aspects of your life.”

Nicole M.: “Committing to daily exercise helps me relieve stress and tension; exercise releases endorphins in my brain, which make me feel happier and more confident.”

Gord F.: “My fitness routine helps me to stay physically mobile and mentally sharp as I age gracefully.”

Some great tips to help you continue the path of fitness:

n Find a conditioning program that helps you stay motivated and accountable. This could mean joining with friends or a program that is group based.

n Be sure to take into account adaptation. Finding activities and programs that lack proper adaptation is an injury waiting to happen! Just because it’s hard doesn’t means it’s good! Avoid beating your body into the ground with high volume and lack of technique. Training to fatigue is a sure-fire way to get injured.

Search out quality instruction and don’t be afraid to ask for credentials/liability insurance and ongoing education credits.

Now take this time to get moving and inspired — your body and mind will thank you!

Strong Points is written by certified personal trainer Rhonda Catt, with CATT Conditioning and Excel Fitness in Vernon.

Stress is a Mess!

Ya, we have heard it before… STRESS! You are stressed…. I’m so stressed. It’s unavoidable and happens daily. It’s the everyday stresses that people do not recognize such as getting the kids ready for school on time or the drive to work….. you know, those drivers that seem to forget they have turn signals for a reason! Most people just go about their day but along with physical stress, that mental stress all adds up.
Here is a daily challenge for you, choose one option below and see how you feel after one week!

Challenge 1: Increase your sleep! How much do you get per night? Do you stay up late on weekends? Are you able to get at least 8 hours sleep per night?
Challenge 2: Are you too busy? Can you say No? Do you feel like you need to help out in every situation? Take time for yourself! Can you say no when needed?
Challenge 3: Eat clean and healthy! What can you eliminate or reduce in your diet? How much sugar do you consume daily? Can you increase the amount of vegetables daily?
Challenge 4: Activity! Can you perform some sort of daily physical activity?

Pick a challenge and see what you can accomplish for one week! Good luck!

Stop the denial!

Losing weight and fatloss really is an easy concept!  Eat healthy, clean & wholesome foods 80-90% of the time!  Have smaller portions throughout the day.  Yes… I believe most have heard these same tips.  Why do most people seem to lose when it comes to losing the weight and dropping the fat?  Could it be denial?

Yes, I think alot of what is stopping people from reaching their goals is denial!  Denial of what they eat, when they eat, how they eat and WHY!  The denial of eating healthy and clean for alot of people still means pulling something out of a box or bag.  If it says it’s healthy for you on the box…. shouldn’t it mean it is!  HELL NO!

The denial of knowing what is right and wrong to eat…. or should I say, more appropriate!  Eating RIGHT takes work.  It takes courage to try new things and different recipes that you may not be accustomed to.  It means taking the time to plan your meals and preparing lunch and on the road snacks.  Stopping at a drive through and having the denial that it’s healthy is false!  Sure, there are healthier choices available but nothing beats a clean, healthy, wholesome meal or snack prepared by YOU!

Stop the denial of what you are eating.  Everyone makes the comment that “I do eat healthy…. I do eat clean”.  I think not!  The denial of most is what is stopping their success and taking them backwards … further away from reaching their goals.  The denial of food, the denial of lack of food!  It goes both ways.  When you start to treat your body with respect and your health with respect, this is when the denial stops!  This is when you get closer to your goals!  Stop the denial and take action!  Appreciate life and your body and have fun!  Denial leads to failure! 

Now, get going and start your success!

Vitamin D

Here is a great little article from Dr. Shelby Entner.  A member of Lifefit!
Yup, its winter again…Some of us are celebrating the ski season, hockey and being outside in the snow. For most Canadians, winter also means shorter days and dark and foggy conditions. Waking up in the dark and driving home from work in the dark can start to have a real physical and emotional impact on our health. Lack of sunshine means that our bodies stop making vitamin D in the winter months. A low level of vitamin D is correlated with many diseases and treatable conditions.

With the media panic over H1N1, people are looking for other ways to protect themselves from getting sick. The importance of vitamin D levels and the incidence of H1N1 will be studied by Health Canada after the flu season to see the coorelation between suspectibility and low levels of the vitamin. It is been extensively researched that vitamin D can help strengthen the immune system, prevent cancer and even turn off the gene for developing autoimmune conditions like diabetes. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or the winter blues, can also be alleviated by vitamin D. With so much evidence and the implication of how low levels can affect your immune system, it seems obvious to start taking vitamin D!

As with all vitamins, care must be taken when chosing a source and knowing a proper dose. I’m recommending to my patients to take 4000 IU/day for adults and 1000 IU/day or every second day for children (depending on weight). The quality of the vitamin is important since it is fat soluble and needs to be properly manufactured. We carry an excellent version for children (with stevia for sweetness) and adults (with sesame oil) that is simple to dose, just one to four drops a day! Having your blood levels measured is also an important step to evaluate what your needs would be. I was very surprised to see how low I was when I tested two years ago, all those years of sunscreen!

Vitamin D is an easy and inexpensive way to really support your immune system and help to prevent future illnesses. For more info, feel free to contact

Okanagan Natural Medicine
Vernon, BC
Dr. Shelby Entner, N.D.

What not to eat!

The 7 foods experts won’t eat

This article was originally posted on Yahoo.  I cannot remember who wrote it but I loved it and thought it was a great tid bit to add!

How healthy (or not) certain foods are—for us, for the environment—is a hotly debated topic among experts and consumers alike, and there are no easy answers. But when Prevention talked to the people at the forefront of food safety and asked them one simple question—“What foods do you avoid?”—we got some pretty interesting answers. Although these foods don’t necessarily make up a “banned” list, as you head into the holidays—and all the grocery shopping that comes with it—their answers are, well, food for thought:

 1. Canned Tomatoes

The expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A

The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”

The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi.


2. Corn-Fed Beef

The expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming

The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. More money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.

The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher.

 3. Microwave Popcorn

The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group,

The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize—and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.

The solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.

 4. Nonorganic Potatoes

The expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board

The problem: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes—the nation’s most popular vegetable—they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. “Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t,” says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”

The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.

 5. Farmed Salmon

The expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany and publisher of a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.

The problem: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You can only safely eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.

The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.

 6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones

The expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society

The problem: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. “When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract,” says North. As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies. “There’s not 100% proof that this is increasing cancer in humans,” admits North. “However, it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”

The solution: Check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products.
7. Conventional Apples

The expert: Mark Kastel, former executive for agribusiness and codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods

The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.

The solution: Buy organic apples. If you can’t afford organic, be sure to wash and peel them first.