Sunday, September 26, 2010

Are you sending your body mixed messages when you are training?

When training for a specific sport, one must consider the type of energy required for maximum performance in their chosen activity. Some sports require more anaerobic energy, like tennis, and others require more aerobic energy, like long distance running.
Why then, do we train for higher percentage anaerobic sports by running long distances?
This makes no sense! If you train improperly for your chosen sport, you end up de-conditioning the body for the very sport with which you were trying to enhance performance. Instead, there needs to be careful attention on training in the anaerobic zone for these type of activities.
With sports like tennis which require 70% of your anaerobic energy and football which require 90% of your anaerobic energy, you should have a strong foundation of strength and stability and then have a sound conditioning program based on improving power.
Practicing a sound weight lifting program, based on your individual needs, is an excellent way to enhance stability, strength and power in any sport. When it comes to exercise, your ability level and your training age (this depends on the number of years you've been consecutively training without getting sick or the length of time between sessions) determine whether you start out in the stability, strength, or power phase.
You never want to start with the strength and power phase until you've established a sound foundation of stability, especially if you have some kind of pre-existing injury or postural imbalance. These should all be corrected first before you move on to the strength and power phase. If not corrected, you'll most likely end up injured.
Once you've established a strong foundation you can then move on to developing your six movement patterns. These movements include the squat, lung, bend, push, pull and twist. When putting together your program you must include all of these movement patterns, especially if your sport requires it. This is where hiring an experienced practitioner comes in handy.
For more information or help on planning an individualized program for you, please contact Allison Pelot at

Contact Allison Pelot to schedule your free consultation

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Top 5 Tips for Healthy Digestion

1- How many chews does it take to liquefy your food? Always chew your food well and never swallow big chunks of food.

2- Always eat your biggest meals of the day earlier in the day since your digestion is strongest between 7am and 11am. As the day goes on your meals should get smaller with dinner being your smallest meal of the day.

3- Make sure you are sitting down and relaxed during your meals. If you are standing, watching TV or on the computer you can activate your sympathetic nervous system which is fight or flight. This can actually shut off your digestive system.

4- Pay attention to how you feel after each meal. If you feel tired you probably did not get the right combination/ratio of food at your meal or you didn't eat enough high quality nutrient dense foods.
If you have more energy after eating, you did good.

5- Try not to drink your water right before a meal, during or right after. This inhibits digestion as well as affects nutrient absorption.

For more information go to

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Truth About Agave

Agave has been known as a low glycemic sweetener in recent years, which it is, but new information has come up that proves it to be unhealthy.
It turns out that agave is not the health food I thought it was. I used to consume it myself and recommend it to my clients until I learned the truth about agave. I found myself craving more agave every time I added it to my food, much like sugar, and thought to myself somethings not right about this. If a food is truly healthy you should feel satiated after consuming a serving of that food, not crave more. I decided to do a little more research on it and this is what I found.
Recent studies have shown that agave nectar actually has more fructose content than high fructose corn syrup. What is interesting is that both are low glycemic sweeteners and get processed through the liver. The liver converts the fructose into triglycerides and it never gets used for energy. Instead, it gets stored immediately as fat, before your body has a chance to utilize it.
So why are they marketing agave to us as a health food?
Apparently agave can be processed to be lower in fructose, by extracting the agave nectar from the sap of the agave or yucca plant.
There's one product on the market today in Mexico that's truly all natural and derived from the plant nectar, but it's availability is limited and it's expensive to produce. Instead the agave we are being sold is extracted from the starch of it's giant pineapple-shaped root bulb and heavily chemically processed using genetically modified enzymes. It's less expensive to do it this way and most companies do not have time to process it the way the natives of Mexico have done it for thousands of years.
The principle constituents of the agave root are starch, much like corn. Also, the conversion process by which agave is made is similar to when corn starch is converted into high fructose corn syrup.
Agave can be anywhere from 70% fructose and higher because the refined fructose in agave is much more concentrated than the fructose in high fructose corn syrup.
So what do we do now? We can start by just accepting that sugar is not good for us in high quantities and eat it only in extreme moderation or none at all. I suggest limiting your sugar intake to less than 5% of your food consumption for that day. Honey, Fruit and Stevia are all great alternatives to agave. Fruit has fiber which is a built in mechanism to make you full before you eat too much and contains fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Stevia is an herbal sweetener with no glycemic index. I suggest when buying Stevia make sure it is 100% stevia extract (preferably organic) with no added chemicals. Organic local honey has many anti-fungal properties, which in moderation, can help with fungus and allergies.
Look for a future post on honey and stevia.

Resources: "The Health Risks From Corn And Agave Sweeteners"
by Sally Fallon Morell and Ramiel Nagel

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Do we really need so much sunscreen?

I used to think I needed to heavily protect myself with sunscreen year round, because of fear of aging faster or getting skin cancer. Since then I've learned when your body is truly healthy, the sun's rays will not effect your health in the same way. It occurred to me that staying out of the sun isn't natural, my body craves the warmth and rays of the sun. Absorption of the sun's rays, if not absorbed excessively, can be a way of healing for some people. This was true for me personally and the rays of the sun helped me heal from severe adrenal fatigue one summer. The sun provides vitamin D, which many of us are highly deficient in these days. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin with can only be absorbed in the body by eating high quality fat. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to diseases such as heart disease, cancer and chronic fatigue, to name a few.
I start my summer out by gradually building my base, so that my skin gets used to the sun and doesn't burn. Ten to twenty minutes a day is sufficient.
The best way to avoid sunburn in the summer is to significantly reduce or eliminate all together your sugar intake, toxic foods, drinks and drink lots of high quality water. Gradually build up exposure time depending on how sensitive your skin is to the sun. Use an organicsunscreen without out parabens and other harsh chemicals -

If you plan to be at the beach all day or are going to be in intense sun all day, I recommend Badgers. Another great natural alternative to sunscreen, which I've tried myself, is organic unrefined coconut oil or real Shea butter. These actually act as sunscreen and protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun. The bottom line is that we need sun exposure coupled with a healthy fat intake in order to absorb vitamin D. Consider how healthy you are from the inside out instead of the outside in.

interesting related links...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Is grass fed beef really better than conventional meat?

We've all heard that grass fed beef is healthier, but do you know why?
Let me first start by giving you an idea of how a cow's digestive system works. Cows have five stomachs, this allows them to fully process grass, food they're designed to eat. They also have a type of good bacteria in their gut that allows them to break grass down into vital nutrients. If a cow eats grains, they will not be able to assimilate it properly, therefore inhibiting their ability to produce good bacteria in the gut and to absorb vital nutrients. The bad bacteria (like e coli) in the gut then begin to take over, and because cows are not designed to eat grains they get sick. This is why conventional farmers have to pump their cows full of antibiotics. Not to mention the fact that conventional feed lot cows are not able to roam so they end up standing close together in their own poop.
Now I ask, what kind of a life is that for any living creature?
Or a better question to ask yourself, do you want to eat sick, unhappy animals?
Eating conventional meat can lead to fungal infections, parasites and yeast overgrowth in the human body. If the cow eats grains that have been exposed to mold then you are eating the moldy grains too. Eating animals with such a low vitality will make you less vital too, fungus and parasites thrive in environments like this.
There are many wonderful benefits to eating grass fed beef.
Grass fed beef provides some vital nutrients such as CLAs, omega -3 fatty acids, and other healthy fats. Vitamins A, D, K and E are fat soluble, which means that they can only be transported by fat. The healthy fat in grass fed beef provides this vehicle. Vitamins A, D and K also occur in the fat of grass fed animals, support endocrine function and protect against inflammation. Your body needs healthy saturated fats to rebuild tissue in the body and provide a high quality source of protein containing amino acids that fuel the brain. Not to mention grass fed beef tastes far better than conventional grain fed beef.
There are many sources for grass fed beef around the country and local to Georgia.
They include farms like White Oak Pastures, which supplies Whole Foods, and Yeah! Burger here in Atlanta. Riverview Farms also has grass fed beef and supplies many of the in-town Atlanta restaurants. You can also find Riverview Farms at the Morningside Farmers Market as well as many pick up sites for their CSAs. These just a few, you can find many more at or
Here's a great chili recipe from BWell to help get you started
I always tell my clients we're so lucky to have so many organic farms around us in Georgia, you would be amazed at how many there are. Let's start supporting them.

"The Vegetarian Myth", by Lierre Keith

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mindful eating

Many of us have gotten stuck on auto pilot, just eating without being present with our food. We've lost our basic connection with food. Some of us may not even really know what real food tastes like or where it actually comes from. Our sense of taste has been lost in the process of processing food. It's been replaced by extreme sweet, salty and sour tastes that are mostly chemically created in laboratories not farms. This is how things like emotional eating, binge eating and eating junk foods can take hold of us.
Drinking your food and eating your water can be helpful in creating mindful and conscious eating. If your food is in a liquid state it tastes different, you become aware of what you're eating and how nutrient dense it is. Liquefied food also goes down fast and absorbs into your body better.
Also knowing what your intentions are before you eat helps. Slowing down and being totally present during a meal, not distracting ourselves with TV, talking, eating standing up or eating really fast. Being fully present and fully connected with our food with the intention of giving us the most nutrient value is a good start.
Neurobotics is the study of how the brain takes on new meaningful tasks, which leads to new pathways and neural change. This can be used as a doorway and tool to open up new pathways in our brain. We can do this with food at mealtimes, but it has to be a meaningful event. Try being creative in the way you eat, like eating with the opposite hand, eating with chopsticks, eating blindfolded, buying different food, eating by candlelight or eating with your hands. By doing these things, you can actually lay down more neuron connections, which can keep you're brain more youthful.
The key is to be in touch with yourself when you're eating by paying attention to how food feels in your mouth when you're eating it. Slow down and taste your food.
When we open the door to creativity, happiness and fulfillment lie ahead.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Drink your food and eat your drinks

Drink your food and eat your drinks.
When we're eating on the run, standing up, watching TV or talking to someone during mealtime this can seriously inhibit digestion and cause all kinds of problems. One of them being inhibiting proper enzyme production which aids digestion.
If you're not producing these enzymes, you're not breaking your food and nutrients down to be absorbed and utilized in the body.
This means being totally present with your meal when you're eating it. Make every meal a sacred event. Chew you're food until it is liquefied and when drinking hold liquid in your mouth for a few seconds without gulping it down.
This enables your body to produce enzymes which aid digestion.