Is There A “Right” Time To Exercise???

Some people are early birds and exercise at the crack of dawn while others are night owls who wouldn’t dream of getting to the gym until the afternoon or evening. Is one group reaping more benefits than the other?  While research has shown little difference in calories burned or muscle gained by exercising at various times of the day, when you exercise can influence how you feel during exercise and throughout the course of the day.

It is most important to make sure that exercise fits into your family and work schedules, or you will never stick to a routine.  That being said, there are many benefits to working out in the morning hours. First, it kick-starts your metabolism and energizes you for the day. Additionally, exercising in the morning may decrease your stress levels when you get to work. People who work out in the morning often feel better about their work-life balance. If you need to work late, you probably won’t be as upset as you’ve already completed your workout.  Starting your day with a good workout also uplifts your mood and makes you feel good about yourself.

If you have trouble with consistency, morning may be the best time to exercise. This ensures that your activity is completed before any kind of stress or pressure from the day impedes your ability to get to the gym and interferes with your good intentions. You will be less likely to skip your workout for other obligations. Morning exercise has been shown to set your pace and focus for the day. If you exercise early in the day, you may also be more motivated to make healthier food choices.

Additionally, research has shown that morning exercise improves sleep, and better sleep is correlated with weight loss. This is because sleep controls the hormonal balance that helps control appetite. People who exercise in the evening may have difficulty falling asleep, throwing this balance off. It is important to wind down before bedtime and have regular, healthy bedtime habits so that your heart rate and body temperature come to a good rest zone.

While morning is shown to be a better time to exercise for the above stated reasons, many people find it extremely difficult to wake up early and get to the gym, especially if they did not sleep well the night before or are overtired. Some people just cannot motivate in the morning, or their schedule only permits them to exercise during lunchtime or in the evening.  If you do work out at lunchtime, make sure to eat after you exercise or your digestive system will be fighting with your muscles for energy. Working out after work can be beneficial to help you unwind and relax after a stressful day. If you can’t drag yourself out of bed in the morning, you are likely to have more energy and be more productive in the afternoon, so do what works for you.

It is of upmost importance to schedule physical exercise into your life and make it a daily habit. The most important thing is to get moving, no matter what time of the day it is!

Obesity Linked to Cancer

Lose weight to reduce your cancer risk. A new study published in Lancet Oncology found that being overweight or obese led to 481,000 cancers in one year. This is 3.6% of all cancers around the world. The risk was higher for women than men and it was higher in the wealthiest countries. The take home message is to eat right and exercise to remain as healthy as possible. Don’t overindulge this holiday season. Keep going to the gym and keep the sweets to a minimum.


What is L-arginine and where is it found?

L-arginine is an amino acid; amino acids are the chemical building blocks of protein. L-arginine is obtained from the diet through red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. It can also be made in a laboratory and used as medicine. L-arginine is used for heart and blood vessel conditions because it is converted into nitric oxide inside the body, which dilates the blood vessels and causes increased blood flow. Additionally, L-arginine stimulates the release of growth hormone and insulin. It also triggers the body to make protein and is associated with wound healing.

What are the benefits of L-arginine?

L-arginine is used to treat congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain, high blood pressure, and coronary artery disease. It is also taken to improve dementia, erectile dysfunction and male infertility. Some people use L-arginine for preventing the common cold, improving kidney function after a kidney transplant, high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia), improving athletic performance, boosting the immune system, and preventing inflammation of the digestive tract in premature infants. It is also used topically for wound healing and to increase blood flow to the hands and feet.

Additionally, L-arginine can be combined with a number of over-the-counter and prescription medications to treat various conditions. For instance, L-arginine is used along with ibuprofen for migraine headaches. It is also used with conventional chemotherapy drugs to treat breast cancer; with other amino acids for treating weight loss in people with AIDS; and with fish oil and other supplements for reducing infections, improving wound healing, and shortening recovery time after surgery.

Are there interactions between L-arginine and food, medications or herbal supplement?

L-arginine should not be taken with nitrates or anti-hypertensive drugs. Consult a doctor before taking arginine of you are on Viagra. Avoid xylitol, a sugar alcohol when taking arginine.

Are there side effects from taking L-arginine?

L-arginine can cause some side effects such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gout, blood abnormalities, allergies, airway inflammation, worsening of asthma, and low blood pressure.

Consult a doctor before taking L-arginine if you have allergies, asthma, low blood pressure, or have had a recent heart attack. Stop taking L-arginine 2 weeks before any type of surgery.

We recommend Designs for Health Arginine 750 mg 120 capsules

To purchase L-arginine, contact

No Diet is a Clear Winner

In a study published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes, researchers looked at a dozen clinical trials that compared weight loss from the “usual” low-fat diet given to overweight patients to four big name diets: Atkins, Weight Watchers, Zone, and South Beach. Researchers found that Atkins, Weight Watchers and Zone were all modestly effective with weight loss between 4-10 pounds per year. However, none of the diets appeared to be more effective than the other. South Beach, on the other hand, did not seem to be better than traditional low fat diet advice. There is no perfect diet; it is important to make sure you have enough energy and nutrients every day so you don’t feel deprived and are able to exercise. Choose a diet that fits into your lifestyle and that will be relatively easy for you to follow. And remember that there is no quick fix.

Healthy Eating in a Hurry

In our modern society, it feels as if we are always running around and pressed for time. Between work, family, and personal obligations, it is often hard to find the time to prepare nutritious, healthy meals to eat at home. The myriad of processed, easy to prepare food, and fast food restaurants offer a great allure to the busy individual trying to squeeze a meal into his/her hectic day. However, eating high sugar, high calorie processed foods devoid of nutrients and vitamins can have long lasting negative impacts on your health.  With a little preparation and planning, you can feed your family healthy and delicious food, even after a stressful day.

First, you should come up with a meal plan for the week and make a shopping list of all the ingredients you will need at the grocery store. If you know in advance what you are making for dinner, you will not have the added stress of figuring it out last minute and not having what you need on hand. Always keep healthy stock items in your pantry and freezer, such as canned tomatoes, brown rice, quinoa, beans, low-sodium stock, olive oil, garlic, onions, frozen fruit and frozen vegetables. Prepare simpler meals on busier nights when there is less time for preparation. If you are not a cooking connoisseur, there are thousands of “quick healthy meals” to choose from on the Internet.

Second, cooking becomes a lot easier if you prep your ingredients in advance.  You will save a lot of time if you can wash and dice certain foods as soon as you get home from the grocery store so they are ready to use at a moment’s notice.  You can also buy pre-cut vegetables in the store. Just remember to save more delicate vegetables that may spoil until right before cooking.  Make sure to keep gadgets, like food processors, and garlic presses, readily available to make chopping and dicing easier.

Making meals in advance and freezing them is another great way to save time. Any kind of stew or casserole can be made in advance and heated up at a later time. You can make extra portions of chicken (like a whole roast chicken) to use in more than one recipe during the week!  Prepare a large salad at the beginning of the week and use it for a few meals (don’t add dressing or it will get soggy – store it dry!)  Lastly, utilize slow cookers, rice cookers and vegetables steamers so your food cooks throughout the day and is ready to eat when you get home.

Eating nutritious meals at home does not have to be difficult or stressful. Taking just 20 minutes per week to plan out your meals will not only save you time and money, but will lead to better overall health for you and your family.

Milk Thistle

What is milk thistle and where is it found?

Milk thistle is a plant native to Mediterranean countries. It is a closely related to the daisy and ragweed. Some people also call it Mary thistle and holy thistle.  Milk thistle contains a flavonoid, called silymarin, which is extracted from the seeds of the plant.  Silymarin appears to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect the liver from toxins.

What are the benefits?

Milk thistle is often used to treat liver problems including, cirrhosis, jaundice, and hepatitis.  It has been shown to be effective in treating seasonal allergies and heartburn.  Others take milk thistle to lower cholesterol, to improve diabetic blood sugar levels, and to reduce the rate of cancer cell growth. It is also used for loss of appetite, gallbladder issues, depression, and hangovers.

Are there interactions with food or medications?

Do not take milk thistle if you are allergic to ragweed or plants in the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family, like daisies and chrysanthemums. Consult a doctor before taking milk thistle if you are currently taking drugs broken down by the liver, antipsychotics, phenytoin, halothane, birth control pills, allergy drugs, drugs for high cholesterol, blood thinners, antianxiety drugs and some cancer drugs.

Are there side effects?

Sometimes, milk thistle can cause diarrhea, nausea, diarrhea, indigestion, intestinal gas, bloating, fullness or pain, and loss of appetite.

We recommend Metagenics  Silymarin 80 for a milk thistle supplement. Please contact to order.

New Genetically Modified Potatoes

The USDA has just approved a genetically modified potato which resists bruising and has less of a chemical called acrylamide, which is a potential carcinogen. The levels of this carcinogen rise when potatoes are fried, and the engineered potatoes have 50-75% lower levels than regular potatoes. Despite the governmental approval, many consumers question the safety of GMOs and worry about food labeling. Additionally, consumers are waiting to see if restaurant chains and food companies adopt the use of these potatoes. The best thing for consumers is to stay well informed so they can make smart choices.

Another Reason to Buy Supplements from a Reputable Company

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a study showing that
tainted dietary supplements that have been recalled from the marketplace often continue to remain on shelves months and years after the recall. This is especially true of weight-loss, sports and sexual enhancement supplements. The FDA’s regulation of the supplement industry is inadequate, and the FDA needs more aggressive enforcement to prevent the contamination of supposedly all-natural supplements and to make sure that consumers buy what they think they are buying.Got to: to buy high quality supplements.

Another Reason to Stay Away from Soda

A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that people who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages were more likely to have shortened telomeres, which are the ends of chromosomes. When the telomere is shortened, it is more difficult to regenerate, which increases the risk for aging and premature death. Therefore, soda drinkers may be accelerating their aging, even if they are a normal weight. Stay away from soda!!!

FODMAP diet for IBS

Sometimes taking probiotics and doing a cleanse are not enough to balance the bacteria in the gut and decrease symptoms from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Many people find relief from following a FODMAD diet (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols). FODMADs are short-chain carbohydrates that can be difficult to digest and therefore can be easily fermented by bacteria, which then causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation. Some foods to avoid on a FODMAD diet are fruits high in fructose like apples, apricot, avocado, cherry, mango, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, watermelon, dried fruit and fruit juice. Vegetables that should be avoided include artichoke, asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, garlic, green pepper, fennel, leek, mushroom, and onion. Additionally, stay away from sweeteners such as fructose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, and sugar alcohols (sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol), and dairy products like milk, ice cream, yogurt,and cheese. Lastly, avoid wheat and rye and legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, soybeans. (from Kerry Bajaj)