What Your Stool Reveals About Your Overall Health

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).

Please follow and like us:
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.

Please follow and like us:
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

Please follow and like us:
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

Please follow and like us:
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

Please follow and like us:
Posted in Health/Fitness, Healthy Tricks, Recipes by Mari Pizarro
June 6, 2017

I’m jumping right on a few of the most damaging cholesterol myths because I make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to what exactly cholesterol is.

Myth #1: “Cholesterol” is cholesterol

While cholesterol is an actual molecule what it is bound to while it’s floating through your blood is what’s more important than just how much of it there is overall. In fact depending on what it’s combined with it can have opposite effects on your arteries and heart. Yes, opposite! So cholesterol is just one component of a compound that floats around your blood. These compounds contain cholesterol as well as fats and special proteins called “lipoproteins”. They’re grouped into two main categories:

  • HDL: High Density Lipoprotein (AKA “good” cholesterol) that “cleans up” some of those infamous “arterial plaques” and transports cholesterol back to the liver.
  • LDL: Low Density Lipoprotein (AKA “bad” cholesterol) that transports cholesterol from the liver (and is the kind found to accumulate in arteries and become easily oxidized hence its bad rep.)

And yes, it’s even more complicated than this. Each of these categories is further broken down into subcategories which can also be measured in a blood test. So “cholesterol” isn’t simply cholesterol because it has very different effects on your body depending on which other molecul

Please follow and like us:
Posted in Health/Fitness, Recipes by Mari Pizarro
May 31, 2017

You may feel tired, cold or that you’ve gained weight.  Maybe your digestion seems a bit more “sluggish”. It might be that your metabolism is slow. But why does this happen?  Why do metabolic rates slow down? What causes my metabolism to slow down? Metabolism includes all of the biochemical reactions in your body that use nutrients and oxygen to create energy.  And there are lots of factors that affect how quickly (or slowly) it works, i.e. your “metabolic rate” (which is measured in calories). But don’t worry – we know that metabolic rate is much more complicated than the old adage “calories in calories out”!  In fact it’s so complicated I’m only going to list a few of the common things that can slow it down. Examples of common reasons why metabolic rates can slow down: ●   low thyroid hormone ●   your history of dieting ●   your size and body composition ●   your activity level ●   lack of sleep We’ll briefly touch on each one below and I promise to give you better advice than just to “eat less and exercise more”.

Low thyroid hormones

Your thyroid is the master controller of your metabolism.  When it produces fewer hormones your metabolism slows down.  The thyroid hormones (T3 & T4) tell the cells in your body when to use more energy and become more metabolically active.   Ideally it should work to keep yo

Please follow and like us:
Posted in Health/Fitness, Recipes by Mari Pizarro
May 24, 2017

You may have this weird kind of relationship with your “weight”. I mean, it doesn’t define you (obviously). What you weigh can matter but only to a certain extent. Let’s look at your waist circumference (well… you look at yours and I’ll look at mine). Waist Circumference (AKA “Belly Fat”) Do you remember the fruity body shape descriptions being like an “apple” or a “pear”? The apple is kinda round around the middle (you know – belly fat-ish, kinda beer belly-ish) and the pear is rounder around the hips/thighs. THAT is what we’re talking about here. Do you know which shape is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea, blood sugar issues (e.g. insulin resistance and diabetes) and heart issues (high blood pressure, blood fat, and arterial diseases). Yup – that apple or beer belly shape! And it’s not because of the subcutaneous (under the skin) fat that you may refer to as a “muffin top”. The health risk is actually due to the fat inside the abdomen covering the liver, intestines and other organs there. This internal fat is called “visceral fat” and that’s where a lot of the problem actually is. It’s this “un-pinchable” fat. The reason the visceral fat can be a health issue is because it releases fatty acids, inflammatory compounds, and hormones that can negatively affect your blood fats, blood sugars, and blood pressure. So as

Please follow and like us:
Posted in Health/Fitness by Mari Pizarro