PJ's Fitness Blog

A blog about a fitter you. Come find out what is on the cutting edge of fitness science and be a part of the ongoing conversation.


Does Meat Cause Cancer?

expelledYou may have heard about the report issued on 10/26/2015 by the World Health Organization (WHO), which found that the consumption of processed meats causes cancer.

Based on a review of studies they picked from around the world, the health organization’s Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) claimed that processed meats, such as hot dogs, sausages and bacon can cause bowel cancer and red meat is likely to cause the disease as well.

You might be surprised to hear from me that I agree with their conclusion. They are absolutely right about PROCESSED meats. Red meat from a conventional farm isn’t much better either (if at all). Those meats are toxic and cancer is just the beginning of the health problems you can acquire from eating that garbage.

Organic meat from wild, grassfed animals is a totally different story though. That stuff is REALLY good for you. Just ask the Eskimos (from 100 years ago – before their diet became “Westernized”), or any other hunter-gatherer society for that matter. Cancer and other diseases for that matter are virtually non existent in those societies, despite the fact that 90% or more of the calories in their diet come from wild animal products. They are the healthiest humans in human history. And that is a fact. Research it for yourself. 

Organic meat that is not grassfed is certainly better than conventional farms. In fact, it’s about 10 times better, but “organic” usually means those farms still feed their animals grains and other stuff they have no business eating. For this reason, grassfed is about 10 times better than standard organic, which makes it about a bazillion times better than conventional.

Hopefully, the word will get out about processed meat and conventional farms so we can stop eating it and feeding it to our children!

My Favorite Oils

Olive oil is great for salad dressing, but did you know that it’s not the best for cooking?

Did you also know that Canola oil is downright toxic? Yep. Check out this article for more on that.

My favorite oils also happen to be the best for cooking too! They are Coconut oil, Avocado oil and Ghee. Check out some other oils in the infographic below:

info-oils

Need to Break Out of a Crummy Mood? Label it!

We all know how powerful gratitude is and have the advice, “Don’t worry, be happy,” but at times, that advice is certainly easier said than done. Sometimes it feels impossible to break out of a funk or negative state of mind, but there is hope – and even specific strategies as well!

One of these is to train your brain to catch yourself in that emotion and then label it. Is it Fear? Anger? Sadness? Stress? Take a moment to find the closest label and then give it that label. The process of doing this pulls it out of the area of the brain that ruminates about the emotion, namely, the amygdala, and makes it worse. Then it goes into the area of the brain that can think of it logically and put it in true perspective, namely, the prefrontal cortex.

In one study using brain scans, participants viewed pictures of people with varying emotional facial expressions. Researchers observed, each participant’s amygdala being activated to the emotions in the picture. But when they were asked to name the emotion, the logical and rational prefrontal cortex increased in activity and the emotional amygdala decreased in activity. In other words, consciously recognizing the emotions reduced their impact.

The brain has significant difficulty sending energy to more than one part of the brain simultaneously, so when you are consciously shunting energy to the prefrontal cortex, you are necessarily shunting it away from the amygdala. This not only makes you feel better at the time, but trains your brain to do this process more easily and subsequent efforts later.

Try it out. You will be surprised how easily a simple thing like naming your mood or emotion can help you escape that state and even prevent associated behaviors like emotional eating!

amygdala-prefrontal-cortex