FIT Talk With Tania  

What's really keeping you from your health goals?

Overcoming health fears

When people talk to me about why they've been putting off health, the two things that always come up are time and money.

Family, work, home, kids' activities, grandkids and pets, combined with the rising cost of groceries—yep, life is busy and things are getting expensive.

There is a third thing that almost no one mentions but is very much a factor in determining our health, and that is fear.

Fear of what? Great question. Stick with me, let's dive in and unpack all three and see what resonates with you, sound good?

I don't know about you, but I used to think about time in terms of how much I didn't have and how much was left after the mad sprint of the day or week was done. I used to lament the fact we only had 24 hours every day and wish there was more. But, as I'm sure you've also figured out, wishing doesn't make it so.

This quote by H. Jackson Brown sums it up for me, "Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein."

But, while it sums things up, it doesn’t offer a solution as to how those amazing humans managed to find time to get all the things accomplished that they did – and in far less favourable conditions than I am blessed with.

It wasn't until I was listening to something online and one of the speakers said, “Try replacing, 'I don't have time' with ‘that's not a priority', and see what happens.”

There are so many things, especially in this digital age, that steal our time, focus and attention and, if you were asked to make a list prioritizing what you'd like to get done and who you'd like to spend time with in a day, would never even make the list.

But somehow we find ourselves spending precious time those things. I don't have to list them, you know which shiny things catch your attention, the things that make you squirrel.

Finances are something people bring up as a barrier when it comes to making changes that will benefit their health.

“Eating healthy is expensive” is the one I hear most often. But is it really? Sure, if you're going the oragnic and non-GMO route, (which is always a good idea if you can), it does cost a little more per item. But are you truly aware of what you're actually spending on whole, nutrient-dense foods verses food-like substances?

Let's do a little kitchen litmus test. Go ahead and take a quick inventory of your cupboards, fridge, freezer, pantry, etc., and note everything in a package, box, bag, can or wrapper that isn't a whole food. Things like cereal, cookies, chips, fruit snacks, granola bars, soda, juice boxes, pizza pops, lunchables, etc.

Do the quick mental math, multiply by four, or the number of times per month you shop. Then go ahead and add in any delivery charges and online fees if you're shopping that way, or the Starbucks latte you grab on the way when you shop in person.

It doesn't take a math genius to see how this can quickly add up. Simply redistributing what you would have spent on lower quality items to buy whole, nutrient-dense foods will give you more bang for your buck without changing what you're spending at the checkout.

You may actually even save a few bucks.

Lastly, let's talk about fear.

It's not that people are afraid to be healthy, no one ever says that. Fear comes from the thought of change and the unknown. Even though where you are now is not where you want to be, where you're headed is new, uncharted territory.

New is different, it's unfamiliar. Even when you know the changes are good, if that unfamiliar feeling is left unchecked, it will grow into discomfort, creating a cycle of self-sabotage that keeps you stuck and prevents you from achieving your goals.

I've worked with clients who, after losing weight and starting to feel and see changes in their body, stopped doing the things that were working to purposely regain the weight because that unfamiliar, uncomfortable feeling was so overwhelming.

Knowing how and what to eat often isn't enough. Our thoughts and beliefs determine our actions, and our actions determine our results. In order to get results – lasting results – tackling the mindset piece is a must.

If any of this has resonated with you or with anyone you know, I invite you to click and watch my free 15 minute training video.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

What studies are showing about the Keto diet

Keto concerns

The diet industry is massive. And while dieting does the exact opposite of creating health, many are lured in with false promises and the hope that this one might just be the one that works.

One such diet that has gained immense popularity over the past few years is the Ketogenic or "Keto" diet. As much as many want to believe this is a healthy way of life, recently published results from long-term studies are showing otherwise.

For those who may not know, Keto is a high-fat (75% to 80%) moderate-protein diet with very low or no carbohydrate intake. The aim is to put the body in a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for energy instead of glucose.

While this may seem like a great way to lose weight and improve overall health, recent studies have shown that there are potential dangers associated with this diet, particularly if it is followed for a long period of time.

One of the main concerns with the Keto diet is the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Keto virtually eliminates all carbs – including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables – the macro nutrients that provide us with essential vitamins, mineral and phytonutrients - putting people at risk for deficiencies in things like magnesium, which is important for heart health, bone density, and muscle function. Other nutrients that may be lacking on a Keto diet include fibre, potassium, calcium, and Vitamins C and K.

Keto can also affect the liver. When the body is in a state of ketosis, it produces ketones, acidic chemicals that can build up in the blood and put stress on the liver. In fact, studies have shown that long-term adherence to a Keto diet can lead to liver damage and even liver failure in some cases.

Perhaps the most concerning aspect of Keto is its potential impact on heart health. While the diet may lead to initial weight loss and improved blood sugar levels in the short term, long-term adherence to Keto may lead to an increase in LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Additionally, the high fat intake advocated with Keto can also increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Published on the Fox News Health website, these findings came from a paper that was recently presented at the American College of Cardiology’s annual scientific session together with the World Congress of Cardiology.

"Our study found that regular consumption of a self-reported diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat was associated with increased levels of LDL cholesterol — or ‘bad’ cholesterol — and a higher risk of heart disease," said lead author Dr. Iulia Iatan, attending physician-scientist at the Healthy Heart Program Prevention Clinic, at St. Paul’s Hospital and the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Heart Lung Innovation in Vancouver.

A Keto-like study – where participants who ate low carb (less than 25 percent), high fat but not as high as Keto (more than 45 percent), included more than 500,000 U.K. residents who were monitored for at least a decade. Outcomes showed a more than two-fold risk of having several major cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, arterial disease and conditions that required a stent.

Finally, it's worth noting the Keto diet can be difficult to maintain long-term. Many people find that the restrictive nature of the diet makes it challenging to follow for an extended period of time, which can lead to yo-yo dieting and weight gain. Additionally, Keto can have negative effects on mental health, leading to mood swings, irritability, and even depression in some cases.

Instead, before embarking on any health program, it's important to ask yourself these three things:

• Is what I'm about to do based in science?

• Does it make sense that I can do this for life?

• Would I let a child do this?

Clearly the science has spoken here and it's why I advocate for a program that works with the way our bodies were designed to function, to use food not to lose weight, but to create hormonal balance and stabilize blood sugar and create health in your body. When you get to your optimal health, you will also get to your optimal weight.

For more information on how blood sugar stabilization works, check out Tania's free training here.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Ignoring signs and symptoms of diabetes is dangerous

Listen to your body

Diabetes rates have tripled in Canada in just 18 years.

Lack of awareness combined with folks either ignoring or not taking the signs and symptoms seriously, has led to one in three adults living with diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, and can have serious consequences if not properly managed. According to a government of Canada website, “3.4 million Canadians were living with diabetes in 2017-2018,” compared to 1.3 million in 2000-2001. A Diabetes Canada article the following year reported less than 50% of all Canadians can identify less than half the early warning signs of diabetes. Only 33% of Canadians are aware stroke is a complication of diabetes and only 40% of Canadians identified heart disease is a complication of diabetes.

Other signs and symptoms, such as increased thirst or hunger, fatigue, blurred or other issues with vision, slow wound healing, recurring infections, numbness and/or tingling in extremities, especially the feet and lower legs, are more widely recognized. These seemingly less innocuous symptoms, when ignored can lead to more serious metabolic conditions and, ultimately, lower quality of life.

Given that diabetes rates have tripled in Canada in just 18 years, it would seem that a lack of awareness combined with folks either ignoring or not taking these signs and symptoms seriously, has led to one in three adults now living with diabetes.

This is not just in Canada either by the way, the problem is global. The World Health Organization reported in September 2022 that globally the number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. Houston, we have a problem,

This increase is definitely something I've seen in my practice as well. In addition to these stats, what's shocking is most people don't realize they can make changes to improve and even reverse some of the damage, and others are actually ignoring what their bodies are telling them.

Either way, a delay in doing something to restore health puts you at risk for a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, amputations, blindness, Alzheimer's, dementia and even death.

Just last past week, on two separate occasions, I spoke with two people who neglected the symptoms and were feeling the consequences. One experienced serious issues with vision and is now partially blind in her right eye, the other is not only having serious vision issues, but was admitted to hospital for surgery after the tingling in his feet progressed to waking up one morning to a black toe. Clearly diabetes is not just a “little” sugar issue.

Unstable blood sugar will wreak havoc on your health, if you let it. Most people don't realize they can use food to create hormonal balance and stabilize blood sugar, thereby being proactive in balancing rather than reactive, which is what most diabetics are taught. Test your blood and if sugars are high, take insulin. If low, eat or drink something sweet.

The constant imbalance and violent swings are not doing your body any favours.

Every time your blood sugar spikes, not only does your body store fat, something called “glycation” happens. Glycation occurs when sugar molecules bond with proteins in your body. Every time your blood sugar spikes and crashes, you “glucate,” causing damage to the surrounding tissues and organs, and that creates inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of all disease and each time your body glycates, it fuels the inflammation making you age more quickly.

When you're born, your bones are nice and white, like a piece of white bread. As we age, they start to discolour – much like putting that piece of white bread in the toaster. By the time we die, bones are almost black inside. Like burnt toast. The longer your blood sugar remains unstable, the more your body glycates. The more you glycate, the more inflammation. The more inflammation, the greater the risk for disease – effectively toasting your body much faster than it would if blood sugar were stable.

But what if you chose to be reactive so every time you checked your blood sugar, it was within the normal range? It can be done. The good news is, many of these conditions can be prevented, definitely improved and even reversed by being proactive in living a lifestyle that supports blood sugar stabilization on a daily basis.

Food is the foundation. The health we see or don't see is a direct result of not only the foods we're putting in but how we're eating them. Replacing packaged and processed items with whole, nutrient-dense foods, including a protein, healthy fat and carbohydrate in the right portions, and in the right frequency throughout the day creates hormonal balance and stabilizes blood sugar, naturally. It also gets rid of sugar cravings, turns on metabolism, increases energy and allows your body to release stored fat, without any crazy dieting. Clearly the benefits outweigh the negatives and the sooner you start, the sooner you'll start feeling it.

For more information on how to stabilize your blood sugar, register here for Tania's free, 15 mins training.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

How food can help or hinder your body's healing

Healing and recovery

I’m a firm believer in the power of food in supporting the healing process.

Having dealt with two bouts of pain and injury following two different car accidents over the years, I’ve learned how important it is to pay attention to what we eat and the environment we create for our bodies if we want to support its efforts to heal.

As I've had several questions and comments regarding this topic, I want to share with you how following an anti-inflammatory protocol can help with healing and injury recovery. And you guessed it, you can do that with food.

Inflammation is a natural response by the body to injury and infection. It's also the root cause of all disease. When you get a cut, for example, your body sends white blood cells to the site of the injury to fight off harmful pathogens and repair tissue. This is a normal, healthy response. But when inflammation becomes chronic, it can actually hinder healing, prolong recovery and promote disease. That’s when it's beneficial to adopt an anti-inflammatory protocol.

An anti-inflammatory food protocol is designed to reduce inflammation in the body. It’s based on the principles that foods all have an impact on inflammation levels and, by eating the right foods, you can lower that inflammation and support your body in its efforts to heal.

So which foods help bring down inflammation? Well, the list is quite extensive but some of the most powerful include leafy greens, nuts, fatty fish, berries, and turmeric. These foods are high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, both of which are known to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body.

Leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, are high in vitamins A and C, both of which have antioxidant properties. They’re also high in magnesium, which has been shown to have a positive impact on inflammation levels. Nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, are rich in healthy fats and full of antioxidants as well.

Fatty fish, like salmon and mackerel, are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which is something many are lacking and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects as well. Berries, like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are high in antioxidants and have also been shown to reduce inflammation levels in the body.

Turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian cooking, is high in a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory as well as immune effects.

Finally, adding a bio-available antioxidant supplement to your daily regimen can also help boost results.

In addition to eating these anti-inflammatory foods, it’s also important to reduce or eliminate foods that trigger inflammation. As you might have guessed, that includes processed foods, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and vegetable and seed oils.

Processed foods are often high in added sugars, preservatives and unhealthy fats, all of which can contribute to inflammation in the body. Refined sugars are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream causing insulin spikes and triggering an inflammatory response, while vegetable and seed oils, due to the extraction process, can be toxic and therefore increase inflammation levels.

By incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet and reducing or eliminating inflammatory triggers, you’re giving your body the resources it needs to function optimally and repair itself.

The benefits of an anti-inflammatory diet go beyond just supporting physical healing. It can also improve overall health and well-being, as well as help to manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, and type-2 diabetes.

One of the great things about adopting an anti-inflammatory protocol is that no matter where you are in your health or healing journey, making these small changes will be beneficial. Take it from me, after having doctors and health practitioners tell me I had healed almost twice as quickly as they expected, it's definitely a step in the right direction and a great way to support your body in its efforts to heal.

It’s also important to note that an anti-inflammatory diet is not just about what you eat, but also about how you eat. Eating food in the right portions and in the right frequency regularly throughout the day, as well as taking the time to sit down and enjoy your meals, can also have a positive impact on both stress and inflammation levels.

Stress can also trigger inflammation, so finding ways to manage stress, such as through meditation, yoga, or exercise, can also help to reduce inflammation levels in the body.

Following an anti-inflammatory food protocol can be a powerful tool in supporting the healing process and reducing recovery time. By eating nutrient-dense foods, reducing inflammatory triggers, and finding ways to manage stress, you’re giving your body the resources it needs to function optimally and repair itself.

The best part is, by incorporating an anti-inflammatory diet into your routine, you’ll not only be supporting your body in its efforts to heal, but you’ll also be improving your overall health and well-being as well.

For more information on how to eat balance and support a healthy inflammatory response, check out Tania's free 15 min training.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More FIT Talk With Tania articles

About the Author

Nutritionist Tania Gustafson, owner of FIT Nutrition, has been active in the health and fitness industry since 1986 when she entered as a fitness instructor and trainer.

In 2011, Tania partnered with internationally renowned nutrition and fitness expert Mark Macdonald, and in 2017 officially earned the title of Master Nutrition Coach in conjunction with Venice Nutrition and the International Board of Nutrition and Fitness Coaches (IBNFC).

Tania is one of only five health professionals licensed and certified in Canada to deliver this proven, three-phase program of blood sugar stabilization, not dieting.Tania is committed to ending the dieting madness both locally and globally and educates her clients on how to increase health with age.

Tania is able to work with clients across Canada, the U.S. and U.K. to restore health and achieve their weight loss goals.Tania is a wife, mother of three adult children, global entrepreneur, speaker, workshop facilitator, writer, blogger, podcast host, travel junkie and self-proclaimed gym rat.

For more information and to book your complimentary health assessment go to www.fuelignitethrive.com. Check https://www.facebook.com/fuelignitethrive/  and https://www.facebook.com/groups/8weeksisallittakes/

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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