The Truth Behind Artificial Sweeteners

November 15, 2017

My friend Sue just finished her second diet ice tea and it’s 10am. Because of work demands, she also consumes about three cups of coffee per day. But nothing to worry, she told me the other day, “everything I consume is sugar free”. Sue is a diet-conscious career woman and even though her waistline continues to widen and her energy is lower than ever she relies on diet drinks, artificial sugar sweeteners, caffeine alongside diet crackers and gums to get her through the day. Sue knows the negative health effects of eating too much sugar, especially “added sugars” like in regular soda, most juices, candy, baked goods, and many commercially-available cereals, just to name a few. She also knows that added sugar is hiding just about everywhere in the grocery store hence why she resorts to “sugar free” everything. It’s true, ingesting refined sugar spikes your blood sugar and insulin, and increases your risk for a whole host of issues (weight gain being the least damaging). The food industry has been adjusting to the growing awareness on this fact and its response to the demand for lower-sugar foods that still taste great, has been artificial sweeteners. The idea behind artificial sweeteners is that you can still get the sweetness, without the calories; like when you have a diet soda versus a regular one. Theoretically, this was going to help people maintain a healthy bod

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November 7, 2017

Are you the indispensable, go-to employee? Are you the one who gets all the odd projects and requests for help? Or maybe you run your own business and feel unless you are on top of things 24/7 that things will get out of your control. Do you have an innate feeling the company can’t operate without your vigilance? When does the indispensable label become too much? Is it best to always be the go-to? Will micromanaging really lead to success? In most instances, the answer to these questions is No. The one thing it will lead to is burnout. Who’s ultimately responsible for employee and owner burnout? YOU! As the indispensable one, you must learn to identify the telltale signs of having too much on your plate before burnout comes knocking on your door.

Red Flags

Here are the most common red flags when you have been assigned too many projects or voluntarily taken on more than what you can handle: You just can’t say NO – If the boss of your boss asks, whatever they asked for must be done, right? If it’s your name on the business, it all falls to you, right?

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November 1, 2017

Ladies, moving your beautiful body with the aim of keeping it healthy and energized may be as simple as taking a 30-minute walk daily. However, there are so many philosophies, techniques and new trends that can make maintaining your fitness confusing. In this week’s blog we are debunking some of the most common fitness myths. Let go of these misconceptions and begin enjoying a more energized, stronger body. It will help you in both the boardroom and bedroom.

Myth No. 1: Weight training will cause me to bulk-up and look manly

Generally speaking, females have less testosterone than men, which makes it fairly difficult to bulk up to the point of looking manly. If a leaner physique is what you are after, lifting weights will help you. As your muscles become leaner and stronger they will require more fuel, which means you’ll burn more calories even at rest.

Myth No. 2: The Cardio Myth

Yes, cardiovascular exercise helps lose weight but spending hours per week on the elliptical will not. For the past five years, I’ve seen the same group of ladies at the gym spend at least an hour with the cardio machines without looking any leaner, slimmer or tighter. Five years!

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Posted in Health/Fitness by Mari Pizarro | Tags: , ,
September 26, 2017

Is My Poop Normal? Yes, this is serious stuff! You probably know that your poop can reflect your physical, and sometimes even emotional, health. You may get constipation or have diarrhea when you eat something that “doesn’t agree with you,” or when you’re super-nervous or stressed about a situation. What about fiber and water? If you’re not getting enough, it’ll probably show in your poop. And what about those pesky but so important gut microbes? If they’re not happy, it’ll probably show in your poop. Here’s a question for you: Did you know there is an “official” standard for poop? I mean a chart that’s university-created? One that is used to help diagnose conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)? Meet the Bristol Stool Scale The Bristol Stool Scale was created at the prestigious University of Bristol in the UK back in 1997. You can see the chart here. The scale breaks down type of poop into seven different categories ranging from type 1 which is very constipated, to type 7 which is diarrhea:

  1. Separate hard lumps (very constipated).
  2. Lumpy and sausage-like (slightly constipated).
  3. Sausage shaped with cracks in the surface (normal)
  4. Smooth, soft sausage (normal).

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Posted in Health/Fitness, Recipes by Mari Pizarro | Tags: ,
August 31, 2017

STRESS!!! Its causes are absolutely everywhere. Would you agree? Our natural “fight or flight” stress response can sometimes go a little overboard. It’s supposed to help us escape injury or death in an emergency and then return to normal after we’ve fought or flown. But, that doesn’t happen too much in our society – it becomes a long-term reaction. It becomes chronic. You’ve probably heard of the main stress hormone, called “cortisol.” It’s released from your adrenal glands in response to stress. It’s also naturally high in the morning to get you going, and slowly fades during the day so you can sleep. Did you know that too-high levels of cortisol are associated with belly fat, poor sleep, brain fog, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and even lowers your immunity? Talk about motivation killers! Do you experience any of these? Well, then read on because I have a list of foods, nutrients and lifestyle recommendations to help you lower this stress hormone naturally!

Foods and nutrients to lower cortisol

Let’s start with one of the biggies that increase your cortisol… sugar.

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August 15, 2017

Do you get hot flashes? Are they mostly at night? Do they set the bed on fire (but not in a sexy way)? Let’s get you some solutions! Before we do that, just some quick info on why hot flashes occur so we can try to affect the root cause of these hormonal symptoms.

What causes hot flashes?

As you can imagine it’s all about hormonal balance (or imbalance). During the menstruating years your estrogen allows for your ovaries to respond when “luteinizing hormone” (LH) says to release those eggs every month. When it gets to the point where your estrogen levels start dropping (i.e. perimenopause) those ovaries start to simply ignore the LH. And guess what your body’s response to this is? It releases adrenaline! This causes your body to heat up for a few minutes until it cools itself back down.

What triggers hot flashes?

You may have

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July 14, 2017

Libido is such an interesting (and complex) experience that can be affected by so many things. And we’re not just talking about the obvious sex hormone testosterone here. Although testosterone levels can have a big (yes BIG) effect on sex drive there are a lot of subtle things that can be going on too. In this post we’ll dive into key diet and lifestyle factors that have been shown to increase testosterone and libido. Body fat: Did you know that low testosterone is linked with high body fat? Particularly visceral fat which is associated with a large waist circumference. You see, with more fat there is more of an enzyme called “aromatase” that converts testosterone to estrogen.  And what you want is to keep that testosterone not convert it. Losing the extra weight that has gathered around your abdomen and keeping it off has several health benefits including increased libido. Diet: Certain nutrient deficiencies can contribute to low testosterone. Not only zinc and vitamin D but if you’re not eating enough protein and healthy fats that can also have a negative impact. Not to mention eating way too few or way too many calories. These aren’t going to help you in the bedroom department either. So make sure you’re eating enough food to sustain your body needs but please don’t over

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Posted in Health/Fitness, Healthy Tricks, Recipes by Mari Pizarro | Tags:
June 29, 2017

Yes, while I am an advocate of getting your nutrients from food first sometimes your nutritional needs need to be supplemented. Unfortunately there are just some all-too-common nutrients that I keep confirming we simply don’t get enough of.  And they’re absolutely critical to optimal health and wellness.  Especially as we age. Here I sifted through the supplementation needs of my clients and what’s available on the market and boiled them down to three. Supplement #1: Vitamin D If you live in North America chances are you are low in vitamin D.  It’s the “sunshine vitamin” and we just aren’t able to hang out outside every day of the year (not even for 10-15 minutes per day.)   Vitamin D is very important for everyone but especially women over 45.  Want to know why? It helps to protect our bones! Vitamin D helps our body absorb and keep the calcium we get from our food and drinks.  And we all know that calcium is one of the main things our bones are made of. Want to know something fu

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Posted in Health/Fitness, Healthy Tricks, Recipes by Mari Pizarro