An irritated throat produces annoying, unpleasant symptoms, such as a nagging tickle or the need to frequently clear the throat. A wide range of environmental, lifestyle or health conditions can cause an irritated throat. For example, dry or polluted air, allergies and vocal strain are all frequent causes. If you smoke, you will have an irritated throat until you quit. Acid regurgitation associated with acid reflux disease can also irritate the throat. Colds, influenza, strep and other viral or bacterial infections cause throat inflammation and painful symptoms.
Conventional treatments for irritated throat include commercially prepared cough drops, cough syrups as well as antihistamines. Natural cures for an irritated throat can relieve many throat symptoms without drowsiness or other side effects. If your throat irritation is severe or persistent however, see your doctor to rule out a serious condition.
Apple cider vinegar is a traditional natural remedy for an irritated throat, and has a host of health benefits, having been used for thousands of years as a natural “cure-all”. Its antibacterial properties fight bacteria that can cause throat pain. To make a palatable drink, add 1 or 2 teaspoons each of vinegar and honey to a cup of warm water. Drink two cups of this mixture each day. Cheers!
It’s been called the “Asian Paradox.” Why do people living in Asia, where tobacco consumption is high, have some of the world’s lowest rates of lung cancer death? In Korea, for example, the rate of lung cancer mortality per 100,000 men is less than 40, compared to 67 in U.S. men. Yet 37 percent of Korean adults smoke, compared to 27 percent of U.S. adults. Why are the Koreans so lucky? Perhaps it’s because they drink plenty of green tea.
While epidemiological studies of the tea/lung cancer connection have provided mixed results (perhaps because of differences in tea preparation), most animal studies show that green tea strongly prevents the development of cancerous tumors of the lung. Researchers believe it does so by:
- quenching free radicals
- protecting the DNA from damage
- inhibiting cancer cell division (cell cycle arrest)
- reducing the growth of new blood vessels
- inducing apoptosis (“cell suicide”)
To learn more, click on these key lung cancer studies and expert opinions:
KEY HUMAN STUDIES
- 1) Green Tea’s Lung Cancer Fighting Ability May Be Tied to Specific Genetics
A 2005 case-control study found that green tea may significantly reduce the risk of developing lung cancer in those with a specific genetic makeup that makes them more susceptible to oxidative stress.
2) Green Tea Guards Against Lung Cancer in Nonsmokers
A 2001 case-control study presented in the journal Epidemiology found that drinking green tea reduced the risk of developing lung cancer in nonsmoking women.
KEY ANIMAL STUDIES
- 1) Green Tea Slows Growth of Lung Cancer and Speeds Cancer Cell Death
2) Green Tea Reduces Number of Lung Tumors in Lab Animals
3) Green Tea Extract Reduces Lung Cancer Incidence and Improves Survival Time
4) Green Tea Polyphenols Reduce Number of Lung Tumors
5) Green Tea Reduces Incidence and Number of Lung Tumors
6) Green Tea and EGCg Reduce Number of NNK-Induced Lung Tumors
KEY LABORATORY STUDIES
- 1) Green Tea Protects Cells From Cancer-Causing DNA Damage
2) Green Tea Inhibits Growth of Lung Cancer Cells
- 1) Population Studies Suggest that Green Tea Fights Several Types of Cancer
2) Green Tea’s Anti-Lung Cancer Effects Are Strong in Animal Studies
Plain water is the best calorie-free beverage—and when it comes from the tap, it costs a fraction of a penny per glass. But for some people, plain old water may be just too plain. Here are some ideas for low and no-sugar beverages that you can prepare at home:
- Infused water (spa water)
- Sparkling water with a splash of juice
- Fresh fruit coolers
- Low-sodium broth or miso
1. Infused water (spa water)
You can find fancy flavored waters in the grocery store, including some that are free of sugar or artificial sweeteners. Spas also serve water that has been flavored with herbs, fruits, even vegetables. But you can easily make your own naturally-infused spa water at home. Try adding any of the following to a cold glass or pitcher of water:
|• Sliced citrus fruits or zest (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit)
|• Crushed fresh mint or other herbs
|• Peeled, sliced fresh ginger or sliced cucumber
Black or green, caffeinated or decaf, leaf or herbal, hot or cold, tea is an excellent choice for a calorie free beverage. Adding a teaspoon of sugar or honey only adds about 15 calories to the cup. Some teas taste sweet to the palate even without adding any sugar: Try Japanese roasted barley tea (Mugi Cha), fruit-flavored herbal teas (mango, blueberry), or teas that feature cinnamon, vanilla, or other “sweet” spices. Black and green teas are also rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and other biologically active substances that may be good for health.
Coffee is calorie free, as long as you don’t load it up with cream and sugar. Take a pass on the coffeehouse confections that are topped with whipped cream and drizzled with sugar syrup, since those can have upwards of 300 to 400 calories per extra-large cup. If you want to add one teaspoon of sugar to a plain cup of coffee, that’s no problem.
4. Sparkling water with a splash of juice
Sparkling juices that are sold ready-made are often heavy on the juice, and may have almost as many calories as sugary soda pop. Instead, make your own sparkling juice at home with 12 ounces of sparkling water and just an ounce or two of juice. For a flavor twist, add sliced citrus or fresh herbs.
5. Fresh fruit coolers
Store-bought or cafe smoothies are marketed as “health” foods, but they are often loaded with sugar and high in calories—some have upwards of 300 calories in a 12 ounce serving. Try making a refreshing fresh fruit cooler instead. There’s no added sugar, and just a small amount of fruit, so this drink is only about 18 calories for each 12-ounce glass.
|• 1/2 cup of ice
|• 3/4 cup of sugar-free sparkling water
|• 1/3 cup of melon or berries
|• Chopped mint leaves or citrus slices (optional)
|Place ice, sparkling water, and fruit in a blender. Blend until slushy, pour into a glass and garnish with mint or citrus slices. Serves 1.
6. Low-sodium broth or miso
There’s no rule that says we must satisfy our thirst with something sweet. Low-sodium broth can give your body the fluid it needs, and can be a savory and satisfying alternative to a sweet drink. The healthiest choice: Look for a broth that has less than 200 milligrams of sodium per serving. Miso, the Japanese fermented soybean paste, can be quite salty, so look for lower-sodium varieties and use it sparingly.
Do you want to increase your brain power and body strength with one of the most powerful foods imaginable? Chia seed imparts power and energy to the user. Here are ten benefits to using chia seed in your life. Chia seeds are:
Benefit #1: Nutritious. Chia seed provides ample calcium and protein to your tissues. The seeds are also rich in boron, which helps the body assimilate and use calcium. The nutrients also support proper brain functioning.
Benefit #2: Water loving. The seed can soak up ten times its weight in water. Do this fun experiment. Put one tablespoon of chia seed in a cup of water and stir. Wait a few hours and see what happens. When inside your body, the seeds help you stay hydrated longer, and retain electrolytes in your bodily fluids.
Benefit #3: Easily digestible. The shells are easily broken down, even when swallowed whole. This is an improvement over flax seed, which have to be ground up to be digested properly. If you eat flax seed whole, it will just pass through.
Benefit #4: Concentrated. If I could only take one cup of food for a few days, I’d choose chia! The food value per volume is simply astounding. You don’t need much.
Benefit #5: Mild tasting. Unlike some seeds, the flavor is very mild. The mild taste makes it easy to put in sauces, smoothies, breads, puddings, and whatever you want. They won’t really change the taste, but will add to your nutrition!
Benefit #6: Energy enhancing. The health pioneer Paul Bragg did an experiment an endurance hike with friends. They divided up into a chia-eating group and another group, who ate whatever they wanted. The group eating only chia seeds finished the hike four hours, twenty seven minutes before the others, most of whom didn’t even finish at all.
Benefit #7: Versatile. The seeds can be used to replace less-healthy fat in just about any recipe. You can use them uncooked in salad dressings, spreads, fruit shakes, ice cream, and just about anything you want. You can also add them to cookies, cakes, muffins, and other baked goods. I usually just mix in a couple of teaspoons to my juice or water and drink them down!
Benefit #8: Slimming and trimming. Yes, the seeds will help you lose weight, for two reasons. The first reason is that they are so filling that you will eat less of other foods. The second reason is that they actually bulk up and cleanse your body of old “junk” in your intestines.
Benefit #9: Endurance enhancing. Chia seeds are known as the “Indian Running Food”. Also, the ancient Aztec warriors used chia seed during their conquests. I’m a runner, and I’ve used chia seed to enhance stamina and endurance on my mountain runs, some of which are several hours long!
Benefit #10: Regenerating. After eating, the nutrients travel to the cells very quickly due to the ease in digestion and assimilation. Use them when you want to build or regenerate healthy body tissue.
A brand of ground chia seed also called Salba Seeds can be found here.
I’d like to share with you information regarding Vitamin D and the immune system. Most of us think that vitamin D is good for bones and is sort of placed in the category with Calcium and magnesium. But Vitamin D is much more than just a vitamin. It is known to influence over 2000 genes of the 30,000 that humans have. JoEllen Welsh, a researcher at the State University of New York at Albany has studied the effects of Vitamin D for over 25 years. Her recent research shows that vitamin D has the same effect on cancer as do cancer drugs. She is finding that cancer cells shrivel up and die when treated with potent levels of vitamin D. See the article here:
In addition, Vitamin D3 can help lower your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, breast, colon and other cancers, and autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. See the article:
It is a fairly well established fact that many of us are deficient, which makes sense because we get most of our vitamin D from the sun. Milk has some vitamin D in it, but no where near the optimum levels often required. Many scientists believe that we get colds and flu in the winter not because of the change of seasons or that we’re all inside and are sharing germs, but that we lack vitamin D!!! Below is a fairly large study (n=17,000 participants) looking at vitamin D levels and cold/flu connection. Since we recommend getting enough vitamin D in our program, I thought this was relevant. If you believe you might be deficient, the prudent thing to do is to ask your physician to check your blood levels. Vitamin D is fat soluble and is stored in the body, so over time if you take too much, you can become toxic.
The current RDA is 400 mg/day, but many believe this is too low. The Department of Nutrition at the University of Harvard for example, recommends more like 1000-2000 mg. per day. I personally take 5000 mg. a day. Of course if you’re in the sun, you need no extra supplementation because your skin is the ultimate Vitamin D maker! See the article below regarding the link between vitamin D and colds and flu:
Yours in health!
What you eat after a work out is very important. Your body burns up its reserves and needs fuel from good sources of protein and carbohydrates. This FAQ will help you understand some good habits for eating around workout time.
Question: I don’t like to eat before working out, but if I don’t I get light-headed during my workout.
Complaint: I don’t like to eat before my morning run, or right before a long bike ride, but then I gas out halfway through.
Expert Discussion: “You need some type of energy replacement when exercising,” says Eric Sternlicht, PhD, exercise physiologist and president of Simply Fit Inc. in Orange, California. “Since it’s not recommended that you eat [a full meal] two or three hours before you work out, the best thing to do is eat something while you exercise. If you eat beforehand, your insulin levels will go up,” explains Sternlicht. “When you start exercising, your insulin will drop precipitously, and you’ll rely too much on muscle glycogen. Once you deplete your muscle glycogen, you’ll lose a lot of power.”
Solution: Choose small, easily digested foods that are dense, like sports drinks, bars, or bananas. Eat a small amount before your workout, and then continue to sip or munch small bits during your workout while you’re on your break.
Question: How can I improve my recovery after a hard cardio session?
Expert Discussion: After a tough workout, when you eat is as important as what you eat. “There is a window of opportunity one or two hours after exercise,” says Sternlicht. “If you eat during this period, you’ll achieve faster muscle-glycogen resynthesis, which will aid recovery. If you don’t eat, your subsequent workouts will suffer.” Some studies suggest that combining protein and carbs in post-training meals increase glycogen replenishment. Eating every two hours for six hours after intense exercise seems to be the most effective recovery method. “The best ratio of nutrients for recovery is 60 percent carbohydrates and 40 percent protein,” adds Sternlicht.
Question: What do I do if I cramp during my workout?
Expert Discussion: Cramping is usually caused by a mineral imbalance. “The most important thing you can do to prevent muscle cramps is get more potassium in your diet,” says Timothy Moore, PhD, an exercise physiologist who trains endurance athletes. “Eating more bananas – and fruits and vegetables in general – is the best way of controlling the problem,” says Moore. “Sports drinks can help you replenish what you sweat out, but people get cramps most likely because they have a potassium deficiency, not because sweating has depleted their electrolytes.”
Solution: Eat bananas!
Question: What can I do about my muscles being constantly sore from Tone & Burn Days.
Expert Discussion: Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is part of weight-training, but if you experience excessive or consistent pain after every workout, you need to shake things up. “In dealing with DOMS, balanced nutrition is very important,” says Sternlicht. “You need to get adequate protein to repair the damage that’s been caused to your muscles.” A study conducted at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University showed that people in strength-training programs – especially beginners – have an increased need for dietary protein. “Some nutrients you can get through your diet, such as ginger and turmeric, help prevent DOMS by benefiting your connective tissue,” says Sternlicht. “Unlike NSAIDs [nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin], they don’t depress collagen synthesis, which helps repair connective tissue.”
Solution: Eat chicken and use ginger and turmeric for herbs.
Question: How do I improve my focus in order to get through a MAX10 workout?
Experts Discussion: Cut back on starchy carbs like pasta and white rice. Remember to eat small amounts of protein six times a day. Females typically will need 15 grams per meal and males around 25. Protein contains the amino acid tyrosine, which boosts levels of dopamine and norepinephrine (cousins of adrenaline). It also blocks the absorption of carbohydrate-induced tryptophan, which can make you feel tired. “If you find yourself mentally lagging, try some tuna, cottage cheese or chicken an hour before to harness mental ability,” says Judith Wurtman, PhD, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Solution: Eat protein at regular intervals!!!
Question: How do I get to sleep after exercising in the evening?
Expert discussion: Warm milk has tryptophan and will help shut you down. Make sure you cool your body down, as elevated temperatures can keep you awake as well. Stay away from coffee in the afternoons, and don’t drink alcohol in the evening either.
Solution: Drink some warm milk or relaxing tea like chamomile, valerian root, or kava kava.
Here is why coffee isn’t all its cracked up to be!
- It interferes with hormones and makes you feel edgy, and if you are edgy, you emotional eat.
- Causes blood sugar fluctuations leading to cravings
- Coffee stimulates the adrenal glands, which release sugar into blood as part of the fight or flight response, which triggers insulin to be released into the blood, which makes blood sugar drop, which makes you crave more sugar, which makes you eat, even though you aren’t hungry. It’s an endless loop you just can’t escape! Keep coffee to 1-2 cups per day, preferably less!
- Coffee has many toxins and pesticides unless you buy organic.
- Coffee interferes with sleep
- Coffee raises blood pressure
- Coffee increases urinary secretion of magensium, potassium and Vitamin B1, so you lose precious vitamins and minerals
1. Don’t worry about your weight! The best way to shape up is to change your eating habits and increase physical activity. Exercise builds muscle mass which is more metabolically active than other body tissue. The more muscle, the more calories your burn while resting. If you increase muscle, your weight can actually increase, because it weighs more than fat. Repeat the mantra: “Muscle burns calories”, “muscle burns calories, “muscle burns calories!” Remember, the measuring tape is your friend and doesn’t lie. Use it in addition to the fat % test equipment to track your shape change, which is really what you want to see.
2. Eat soup! Use broth-based soups, loaded with veggies and beans. Enjoy kale, onion, garlic, ginger, basil, and other herbs as part of your soup. Try Thai or Vietnamese soups. Typically, they are loaded with good herbs and other nutrients. Soups tend to fill you up and not weight you down, so you avoid the afternoon lull as well!
3. Utilize some MAX10 craving busters:
- Count to 30. Taking your focus off of the craving and onto something else takes your attention away form that which you desire. Do this enough and it becomes second nature. It takes willpower! You can do it!
- Use your imagination… Imagine what you want to look, feel, and be like and then focus on that. Once you imagine it, then feel what it would feel like to look, feel, and be like you want. This will draw what you desire closer to you, and help steer you away from that which does not serve you any longer.
- Adopt new habits. Start drinking tea 5 times a day if you have to!
4. Look at your emotions and how they affect your behavior. Many people use food to distract themselves from whats really going on inside. Are you stressed, depressed, anxious, angry, or something else other than feeling calm and relaxed? If so, simply notice that you are feeling this way, and don’t judge it. Just notice that you are feeling this way. The act of allowing the feeling to be with you, will help you to also realize that the feeling is valid. But this is not hunger. If you feel like you habitually use food to self-medicate an emotional problem, talk to a mental health counselor.
5. Celebrate new foods! Instead of limiting yourself, enjoy new foods and newe tastes. Try adding one new food each week. Maybe you’d like to try papaya, or mango, or pomegranate? Try spaghetti squash, or quinoa.
6. Slow down and eat veggies first. Take time to enjoy your meal. The digestive system needs time to process that you are actually full. If you eat to fast, you can end up eating much more than you need. Try starting with veggies first. If you can satisfy the bulk of your appetite through veggies, then you’ll be less likely to reach or other, more high-calorie foods. Choose foods that force you to slow down. Hard boiled eggs, artichokes, kiwi, crab, shellfish, all take time to peel for example.
7. Stop eating so much sugar! The body needs sweet foods, just not the way you think. Human evolution required that we develop a taste for sweet things, like berries, so that we fulfill our nutritional needs like vitamin c. Don’t mistake the need for sweet things like berries and fruits for the need for pop.
8. Avoid emotional labels for foods. Try to not categorize foods as “good” or “bad,” or say that a person is “good or bad” based on how or what they eat. What you resist, usually persists.
9. Make exercise a part of your life. Train hard in MAX10, but also take time in between sessions to get out and do some other things outside, or enjoy some other group fitness classes. Make sure you include variety.
10. Talk! Discuss the stressors in your life with someone who is a good listener. This will help you alleviate them by not holding them in. If you or someone you know is exhibiting signs of an eating disorder, don’t be afraid to talk about it. Sometimes it isn’t the problem itself that is what causes the most pain, but the feeling of being alone in it.
I wanted to share a recipe with you to make your own protein bars.
This is a cheap, healthy way to get your daily protein! It was given
to me by a current member.
2 cups natural peanut butter or almond butter
1 cup whole grain oatmeal
3/4 cup dry milk
6 scoops 100% whey protein powder
1/2 cup honey or other low glycemic index sweetener
Mix well, put in sheet pan. Put in fridge to harden then cut into
bars. Makes 15 bars.
300 calories (save on calories by choosing unsweetened whey and stevia
instead of honey,
18 grams fat (most of this is the good kind of fat, you can reduce by
using less peanut butter)
22 grams carbs
18 grams protein
They taste good too!