Asparagus and spring onions with romesco sauce
Photo: CHRISTOPHER JONES
Photo: CHRISTOPHER JONES
Ask any trainer and they’ll tell you that there’s a lot more to losing weight and getting fit than simply hitting the gym.
If you want to reach your goals, you not only have to train like a fitness pro, you’ve got to eat like one, too.
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Paleo Leap Broccoli and Apple Salad with Walnuts | Paleo Leap. Treat yourself to this refreshingly crispy raw salad as a no-fuss side dish or an easy Paleo snack.
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It is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body, right next to sulfur (which is JUST as important).
Along with being a mineral, magnesium is also an electrolyte. “Sports drinks” (aka sugar-filled scams) claim to contain electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, and sodium because we sweat away these important nutrients during exercise, and their deficiency is what leads to the common problems athletes face, such as muscle cramping! But believe me – electrolytes (especially magnesium) do so much more than treat and prevent muscle cramps.
First off, electrolytes are what allow us to be living, electrical beings. They are responsible for all electrical activity (and thus brain conductivity) in the body. Without electrolytes like magnesium, muscles can’t fire, your heart cannot beat, and your brain doesn’t receive any signals. We need magnesium to stay alive, point blank. As soon as we don’t have enough of it, we start to lose the energy and conductivity that keeps us going. Technically, as soon as we become deficient, we slowly begin to die, getting more aches and pains day by day, feeling worse year after year. I can’t stress it enough… signs of magnesium deficiency are everywhere, if you just look.
Magnesium is a cofactor in over three hundred reactions in the body, necessary for transmission of nerve impulses, temperature regulations, detoxification in the liver, and formation of bones and teeth. However, magnesium shows its true power in cardiovascular health. The Weston A. Price foundation writes, “Magnesium alone can fulfill the role of many common cardiac medications: magnesium inhibits blood clots (like aspirin), thins the blood (like Coumadin), blocks calcium uptake (like calcium channel-blocking durgs such as Procardia) and relaxes blood vessels (like ACE inhibitors such as Vasotec) (Pelton, 2001).”
Nearly EVERYONE has signs of magnesium deficiency but we don’t realize it…
Anything that makes you tense and tight could potentially be due to magnesium deficiency. If you can’t relax or you can’t stop — think magnesium! Full-blown health problems can even be tied back to this crucial mineral. Most people with ANY chronic disease or issue benefit greatly from magnesium supplementation therapy. This is because chronic illness = stress, and stress depletes magnesium. The following are conditions that are likely to have magnesium deficiency as a part of the puzzle:
Amazingly, the article referenced above even mentions neuro-vegetative disorders as a possible result of magnesium deficiency. This would include comas. Stress hormone production requires high levels of magnesium and stressful experiences can immediately lead to complete depletion of magnesium stores; could this be a contributing factor to why we see comas after traumatic accidents/injuries? As I mentioned above, magnesium is an electrolyte responsible for brain signals and conductivity. Without magnesium, people in comas may not be able to come to and resume conductivity. Many people with diabetes also fall into diabetic comas. Diabetes is listed as another possible consequence of magnesium deficiency. Could this be a factor in diabetic comas as well? Something to think about and research further!
Do you crave chocolate? Why, when people are stressed out, do they go for chocolate? Chocolate is one of the highest food sources of magnesium.
Magnesium is associated with so many disorders that Dr. Carolyn Dean of the Nutritional Magnesium Associationhas devoted an entire book to discussing how she has treated thousands of patients for a wide array of diseases, with magnesium as the primary component. Her book, The Magnesium Miracle, is a must-read if you have any of the magnesium deficiency symptoms above, or any health problems in general – as there is likely a magnesium component to everything. Check out 50 Studies Suggest That Magnesium Deficiency Is Killing Us.
Unfortunately, conventional medicine has not woken up to the amount of research that has been done on magnesium deficiency.
One of the reasons Western Medicine is so off base with magnesium is how they test it: with blood tests.
Blood tests do not yield ANY information about magnesium… why? Because the body controls the levels of blood magnesium very tightly. If the magnesium in the blood drops just a little bit, you’re going to have a heart attack. It’s that sample. So to prevent this, the body will rob all of its cells, tissues, and bones of magnesium in order to keep the blood levels constant. If you do a blood test for magnesium, the cells could be completely empty while your blood levels remain constant.
What’s worse is that magnesium is not even in your blood. 99% of the magnesium in the body is stored in the cells that get robbed, while a mere 1% of your body’s total magnesium is in the blood. These tests are a complete waste of time, and they’re not educating doctors to this reality.
“A serum test for magnesium is actually worse than ineffective, because a test result that is within normal limits lends a false sense of security about the status of the mineral in the body. It also explains why doctors don’t recognize magnesium deficiency; they assume serum magnesium levels are an accurate measure of all the magnesium in the body.” – Dr. Carolyn Dean, The Magnesium Miracle.
Here’s the short(ish) version: Number one, we’re being poisoned by our food. Number two, we’re increasingly stressed out. We’re running our engines on high to keep up with life and it’s draining us. Stress hormone production requires high levels of magnesium and stressful experiences lead to depletion of magnesium stores.Number three, we’re eating more sugar than ever. For every molecule of sugar we consume, our bodies use 54 molecules of magnesium to process it. Fourth, low levels in the soil and modern farming techniques deplete stores of magnesium. And lastly, magnesium is depleted by many pharmaceutical drugs and estrogen compounds such as oral contraceptives, antibiotics, cortisone, prednisone, and blood pressure medications (“Drug-induced nutrient depletion handbook,” Pelton, 2001). Diuretics in coffee and tea (caffeine) also raise excretion levels. Oh and by the way – flouride competes for absorption with magnesium!
Nowadays, nearly everyone is magnesium deficient – no test needed. Refined/processed foods are stripped of their mineral, vitamin, and fiber content. These are anti-nutrient foods because they actually steal magnesium in order to be metabolized. When consumed, they demand that we supplement with magnesium or we are destined to break down eventually due to severe deficiency. Like I said, sugar is the worst offender. Every single molecule of sugar you consume drags over 50 times the amount of magnesium out of your body.
Well, what if you eat a healthy diet? Processed products are not the only foods that are devoid of magnesium. In general, magnesium has been depleted from topsoil, diminishing dietary intake across the board while our need for magnesium has increased, due to the high levels of toxic exposure we come across in our daily lives (air, water, plastics, chemicals, the list goes on!). The soil is depleted of magnesium because of the pesticides that are sprayed on all conventionally grown plants and worldwide pollution that affects even the cleanest fields. Pesticides also kill those beneficial bacteria/fungi that are necessary in order for plants to convert soil nutrients into plant nutrients usable by humans.
Cannabis has so many positive effects in terms of treating diseases such as epilepsy, cancer, and more (read 1, 2, 3and cureyourowncancer.org). Trust me, I’ll be the first to tell you I’m all for it – it’s a safe and effective herb with countless therapeutic benefits that the government has been hiding for years. The only way they want you using it is if they’ve patented one of its’ chemical compounds and can sell it to you for a profit.
However, we should also look at what happens to our body on a cellular level if we use cannabis on a daily basis. Would you take parasite cleansing herbs every day for the rest of your life, or even every few days? Probably not. You’d take them when you’re sick or during a monthly cleanse, or else you’d develop some side effects from overuse. We need to remember that cannabis is a powerful herbal medicine and should be treated in such a way.
It turns out that using marijuana tends to deplete the body’s stores of magnesium, with the result that the person feels more on-edge after coming down from the high.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t safe in moderation. It means that over time, if used consistently without proper balance via magnesium replenishment, it can and will cause magnesium deficiency.
1. Eat magnesium rich foods grown on organic soil.
My Personal Favorite Foods
My Second Favorite Option is to soak in epsom salt baths. This will provide not only magnesium, but sulfur for your liver as well.
If you are still of thought that foam rollers are for everyone else, then you are missing out on one of the most effective tools at your disposal for totally fit body, recovery and injury prevention. Rollers are the most popular mechanism for self-myofascial release, or SMR, and are gaining popularity among elite athletes of all walks because of the drastic and usually immediate impact it has on their performance and overall health. Here are some of the most frequently discussed aspects of SMR as it pertains to dedicated lifters.
Self-myofascial release is often called the “poor man’s massage.” Myofascial release is a hands-on technique that therapists have been using for years. To achieve this release, a therapist would apply a low load, long duration dragging force across layers of soft-tissue in the body. After a period of time, through some different mechanisms in the body, the body will “release” the tissue and mobility between those sliding surfaces is restored. To make these changes on oneself, a foam roller can be used in place of therapist’s hands. While the foam roller will never completely replace therapists, it serves as a great alternative.
SMR can have a wide range of benefits for the everyday workout beast. Some of the basic, most obvious benefits will be increased blood flow throughout the body, better movement and increased range of motion. These benefits can decrease the chance of injury and decrease recovery time after a workout. A decreased recovery time means more training sessions per week/month and results can come quicker. Increased circulation is huge for recovery and greater ROM means you get to work muscles more thoroughly on lifting days.
The first region to do to start seeing results is to foam roll your calves. Most of the things we do negatively affect our calves. From the shoes we wear to the way we sit in a chair, our calves are in a shortened position most of the time. This limits the range of motion of the ankle and reduces function up the rest of the body. To address this, begin by placing one leg on the roller, then place the other leg on top of it. Raise the hips and slowly begin to roll to the knee. If you find an extra tender spot, stop and hold. After about 20 seconds continue to roll through the area four times. Then set the hips on the ground and rotate the leg four times side to side.
The second best region is to foam roll the quadriceps. Again, from the things we do, this area can become shortened and affect the function of the hips and put additional stress on the low back. Begin by lying down in a plank position and place the GRID Roller just above the kneecap. Slowly roll down (about an inch per second) towards the hip. If you find a tender spot, stop and hold for about 20 seconds. Then resume the rolling. After four rolls, bend the knee 4 times. Make sure to breathe through all of the rolling.
The third best region to do is foam roll the upper back, the thoracic spine. This area is designed for rotation and extension. With the postures most people are in, this area gets stuck. Begin by sitting on the ground and lay back to where the roller is just below the shoulder blades. Support your head with your hands and lean back into slight extension. Raise the hips and begin to roll towards the shoulders. Make sure not get pressure onto the neck. This area normally does not feel as tender as the others but if it does, again feel free to stop and hold pressure on one spot. Roll through the area of the spine four times with the hips up. Then, set the hips down and perform four crossfrictions, by mimicking an oblique crunch (side to side) with pressure on the roller.
In the perfect world SMR would be done both before a workout as part of a warm-up and as part of a cool down. As part of a dynamic warm-up, it should be the first thing done, before any stretching or cardio. Here, it promotes blood flowing the areas that maybe aren’t receiving as much blood flow and helps to reduce tension in muscles. As part of a cool down, the rolling helps to flush out blood that has pooled in the working muscles and allows fresh nutrients and oxygen to come in and begin the healing process.
If one is limited with time (as most of us are) and can only choose one time to roll, pre-workout will get them the best results. For the benefits stated earlier, rolling for as little as five minutes before a workout can have a great impact on the quality of each training session.