Yoga Detox!

Yoga Detox for the New Year
 
Raise your hand if you ended 2017 with a little or a lot of self-indulgence?! We all got to enjoy Christmas and the New Year with our loved ones, family, and friends and an overload of parties filled with with treats & drinks galore. My body & yours need some major detoxing to reset after all the celebrations! If you are feeling sluggish and bloated, breaking out, or maybe losing your zest for life then you can benefit from a detox. 
 

Whether you detox or cleanse (which you should do seasonally) January is the perfect time to try something new. Now I am not saying you need to commit to weeks of sippin' on green juice or eating a smoothie bowl for breakfast (Even though that would help! Here's one of my favorite recipes from the Balanced Berry https://www.thebalancedberry.com/creamy-matcha-smoothie-bowl/!). What you should try is grabbing the nearest mat and try these yoga poses below that will stimulate your circulatory, digestive, and lymphatic systems. This means help to rid your body of waste and toxins. Sounds good to me!

Here are my top 5 detox yoga poses! 

Bridge pose: Lie on your back with your arms to your sides, palms down, and bend your knees. Push your hips up in the air while keeping your thighs and feet parallel. Hold for at least 30 seconds then relax and come down.

Three-legged down dog: Go into downward dog and lift one leg up in the air as high as you can go while keeping balance. Hold for a few deep breaths then repeat with the other leg.

Plow Pose: This pose strengthens and stretches the back muscles, aligning the spine and improving your posture, stimulating the abdominal organs, ovaries, bladder, and kidney, and relieving digestive issues. It also increases metabolism and tones the abdominal wall.

Spinal Twist (do both sides): Twisting helps you feel energized and focused, but will also provide mental clarity, relieve stress and deep tension, and detoxify your entire system. It does this by massaging your internal organs, encouraging the elimination of toxins. When you release a twist, fresh blood and nutrients rush back into your digestive organs, helping nourish and support them. Stay in Supine Twist for at least five deep breaths, then repeat on other side.

Shoulder Stand: Start with lying on floor on your back. Bring your legs to your stomach now stretch them upward. Now bring your hands to support either side of your spine and help pull your belly in right angle position with the ground. Stay in this pose for 5 deep breaths, and then relax. Now repeat this 5 times. (pictured below) 

I would love to hear if you tried these poses out! Shoot me a quick email to say hello, ask a question, or share what you want to learn more on our blog. You can reach me at teanna@hotfeetfitness.com. Cheers to a new year! 


*Originally posted to Westside Seattle "Healthy Living" 



Wake up your Face

"The facial muscles are just like the muscles in the rest of the body, they need to be exercised..."

Growing up I remember my Mom working out in the living room in the morning and hearing this deep breathing that always made me laugh. Just recently we were talking about working out and the benefits of breathing exercises on the body. Enter, the Lion's pose. 

Lion's pose is a strong seated posture that incorporates a powerful breathing technique called Lion's Breath.


How to do Lion's Breath
Start by sitting on your heels with the top of the feet on the ground and the sit bones resting on the heels. Bring the hands to the knees, palms facing down, and spread your fingers wide, keeping your middle finger pointed straight ahead. Make sure that your head, neck and torso are extending in a straight line. From here, lift yourself up off your heels a couple of inches. Next, lean your torso forward and straighten your arms. As you open your mouth wide, stick out your tongue as far as it will go toward your chin. Now exhale strongly while making the sound of a fierce roaring lion. 

Benefits of Lion's Breath 

  • Relieves tension in the face and chest.
  • Improves circulation of blood to the face.
  • Keeps your eyes healthy by stimulating the nerves.
  • Helps prevent sore throat, asthma, and other respiratory ailments.


Check out a fun old school Lions breathing inspiration from Greer Childs!  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyxpXgS5deU


Don't be shy. Roar on! 


Teanna Gentry
Director of Operations
Hot Feet Fitness Burien

Living Healthier Together

Hello! My name is Jerrod Sessler. When I was 29, I was given a 5% chance to live thanks to an unfriendly cancer diagnosis. I had stage-4 melanoma and the outlook was bleak statistically. I had been introduced to a plant-based diet a year or two prior and although I thought it was crazy when I first saw it, I had an intuition that it may be my only real hope after the diagnosis. I knew drugs and chemo would prolong the inevitable. So, I made some drastic lifestyle and habit changes. I fueled my body to rid itself of toxins and forced a reboot of my entire system.
 
I set out on a journey to find my cure for cancer. My passion is for everyone to learn from my experiences and live healthy! The content in the Live Healthy Program is what I live today and have learned over many years of trial and error.
 
I designed The Live Healthy Program to empower you to understand the fundamental elements of living a fully healthy life. Success within the Live Healthy Program is defined not just in terms of physique but with consideration for what is happening inside in the unseen places of our bodies. I know it is possible to create a false sense of health by simply having a great body. I want you to achieve great health and to be able to enjoy that with a healthy physique simultaneously!
 
Join me and the Hot Feet Fitness community on a journey that will change your life and help you to live a vibrant and healthy life!

Interested in signing up? Our next 6 week class series starts February 22nd, 2018! Email us to get more details at getfit@hotfeetfitness.com. 

Study: Yoga Reduces Fatigue 57%

The claim: Just two 90-minute yoga sessions a week for 3 months is enough to lower your inflammation levels by 20%. The same amount of yoga also reduces fatigue by 57%. And these benefits persist for months -- even if you stop going to yoga, according to a new Journal of Clinical Oncology study.

The research: A study team from Ohio State University measured markers of inflammation among 200 breast cancer survivors -- half of whom practiced hatha yoga on a twice-weekly basis. The researchers also collected psychological surveys designed to gauge the participants' energy and depression levels. Compared to the no-yoga group, the downward doggers enjoyed the lasting inflammation- and fatigue-lowering benefits detailed above. 

 

What it means: The meditative component of yoga is a proven stress fighter, says lead study author Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD. And thanks to the uptick in physical activity, the yoga student also slept better at night. Both of those factors could explain the improved inflammation and energy levels, Dr. Kiecolt-Glaser explains. Also, because yoga helps you learn to manage stress through concentration and breathing, its positive effects last even if you stop practicing, she adds. 

 

The bottom line: Anyone who takes up yoga should experience lower inflammation and fatigue levels, as well as better sleep, Dr. Kiecolt-Glaser says. And her study showed the more often you practice yoga, the better the results. 

 

The following is an excerpt from a Prevention.com article by Markam Heid on the benefits of yoga. http://www.prevention.com/health/sleep-energy/yoga-reduces-fatigue-57

 

 

THE DAIRY MYTH EXPOSED

I was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1999 and I am convinced that dairy played a significant role in degrading my physical health to a point where my body could not fight the cancer that was growing within me. In fact, based on strongly scientific evidence, the dairy I consumed prior likely had a significant role in promoting the growth of cancer.
 
From a nutritional stand point, there are no nutrients found in dairy that are necessary for a health lifestyle that are not found in abundance in raw, fresh, organic produce. Our culture is programmed to enjoy certain foods that are dairy based or tied to a dairy consuming lifestyle however. Things like nachos, ice cream and smoothies nearly always contain dairy. Here are some suggestions for ways that we enjoy these sort of foods without the harmful affects of dairy.
 
There is no place for dairy in a healthy diet. If you believe otherwise then I would like to be the first to present a wealth of information, studies and real science that debunks any and all claims that dairy has in regards to the main claim to fame - bone health. Sure, the dairy industry claims that dairy is packed with nutrients because dairy is "fortified." By definition, that is true. Dairy, like many other packaged food is packed with a various additional compounds that could have an affect on the health of a consumer. Do these additives create a more healthy end result or not? The answer is that the end result does not provide improved health.  The companies that manufacture products containing dairy products are not interested in your health. These companies are interested in recurring review from a client base that leads to massive profits year after year. When a packaged food company fortifies their products, it generally means they take a variety of dead minerals (in rough terms these are minerals in a rock form).
 
Dairy is the most harmful substance that we allow into our bodies and it is pervasive and relentless in our food supply. Start reading labels and ask yourself why dairy makes its way into so many different products. Dairy causes congestion and weight gain and is linked to many disease including cancer, heart disease and multiple sclerosis.  Other than packaged food (whites & sugar), dairy is the number one contributor to obesity.
 
1) We make raw, fresh almond milk at home regularly.  Almond milk can be vary satisfying and is easily made without any harmful substances:  https://youtu.be/rV28BFO6yXk
 
2) Many forms of ice cream are now made without dairy. We enjoy a brand available in Seattle called Full Tilt Ice Cream but I am sure there are many others with a similar mission.
 
3) Although I do not particularly enjoy it, my kids have enjoyed sprinkling some non-dairy cheese on various things. 
 
4) Smoothies can easily be made with a bit of almond milk, frozen banana and other fruits and spices for flavoring.
 
To find other health recipes, visit:  http://www.freggies.com/Produce/Recipes
 
Doctors and medical professionals agree:
 
In one European study[1], vegans had a 30% higher risk of fracture compared to meat eaters, but they also had a significantly lower calcium intake than all the other groups. When researchers only considered vegans who ate at least 525mg of calcium a day, they found that vegans had no increased risk of fracture. In other words, the increased risk of fracture disappeared when consuming at least 525mg a day. Dr. Thomas Campbell or the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies
 
“Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years, was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in old age. (“Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Hip Fractures in the Elderly”. American Journal of Epidemiology. Vol. 139, No. 5, 1994).
 
“The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk and have the most calcium in their diets. The connection between calcium consumption and bone health is actually very weak, and the connection between dairy consumption and bone health is almost nonexistent.” Amy Lanou Ph.D., nutrition director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C.
 
If you choose to consume dairy, minimize your intake to small amounts - dairy products are not essential for good health and carries potential health risks. Dr. Joel Fuhrman
 
Based on the research and my experience practicing medicine, I typically advise most of my patients to avoid dairy products completely. I like ice cream just as much as the next person, but as a scientist I have to look honestly at what we know.  Mark Hyman, MD
 
Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness 

Be Your Most Vibrant Self!

What does it mean to be your most vibrant self? When I think about being vibrant, I think of being the best I can be (body, mind, spirit) in order to live each day optimally. At Hot Feet we believe in encouraging and inspiring people to not only be fit, but to find their best selves.
 
In November we hosted a fitness challenge and gave direction for those who participated to see how they could make small changes in their day to day diet, fitness, and outlook in order to get healthier. We had awesome results and our winner was Zach (pictured below) who lost over 6 pounds and 2% body fat by following the plan we set for him. 
 
About the Live Healthy Program and Fitness Challenge:
Eating is one of the main forms of nourishment but it can also be one of the main forms of excess and toxicity. Looking critically at ones diet can often yield great physical results in terms of how one looks, feels and the overall healthfulness of a person. The eating plan should be approached with an understanding of what you have done in the past and an eye for what you want to change for the future.
 
Excercise if a vital portion of a healthy existance. Hot Feet Fitness is about helping people live healthy which often includes changing lifestyle choices and adding activities such as stretching, working out and yoga.
 
The goal is to live healthy. This process examines the habits that have been built in the past and sets a new course for the future. This is not a one and done project for HFF. We desire to see you live in vibrant health your entire life and realize that we all have a starting point to build from. Make progress in a given direction rather than holding up a certain standard to achieve. Live Healthy. Be fit & love it!

In Health, 

Teanna Gentry
Director of Operations 

Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness 

Food as Medicine: Protein Power

I am strongly against the consumption of any animal products including dairy but that does not exclude seafood.  I have found that a few ounces of raw or seared tuna for breakfast or lunch has a powerful effect on my fat burning ability through the day.  Raw, fresh, organic, leafy greens also contain an abundance of protein but I tend to mix them with a lot of fruit so I get a mix of natural sugar and protein which does allow the body to burn a massive amount of fat but can often be a taller mental leap than most of us want to traverse.
 
So, what is the problem with animal protein?  People have been eating it for centuries right?  How can there be anything wrong with it?  If you read one of many studies but one of my favorite by Dr. T. Colin Campbell knows as the China Study.  Under Dr. Campbell's instruction, a team performed a 40 year study on and around the consumption of animal proteins and the direct correlation with disease.  They completed this study in rural China where the diets of the people are both diverse by region but very steady by community.  In other words, people in a certain community ate the same finite things through their entire lives while others in the vast Chinese regions may have a completely different diet but also very consistently consuming the same things within their community throughout their lives.   Dr. Campbell and his team at Cornell University did not intend to put animal protein to the test when they began this journey.  The data revealed the results without coercion.  Eventually, Dr. Campbell was able to literally turn on and turn off cancer growth in laboratory animals with the consumption of animal proteins into the diets.
 
Another doctor with an incredible amount of wisdom and experience has also written a book about the triumphs of avoiding animal protein is Dr. Joel Fuhrman.  Dr. Fuhrman has treated more than 20,000 people using a "food as medicine" approach and has had remarkable results seeing people strengthen their immune system and their bodies begin to heal themselves and return to a naturally healthy state.
 
Not eating meat is really not the point here.  Understanding and accepting the fact that our culture may have it wrong is a bigger deal.  I choose not to eat meat because I have seen the affects of both consuming it and not consuming it and I have gotten to a place mentally where it is not a struggle or a challenge for me to avoid it.  Information combined with life experience is a powerful and motivating tool.
 
Many people ask me where I get my nutrients, how do I get enough protein, etc.  The truth is that there are more available and absorbable proteins as well as thousands of other phytonutrients in raw, fresh, organic produce than in any animal protein.  In fact, it is something like 12x in some of the most conservative cases where produce is wildly more nutrient dense than animal protein options.
 
I like to eat from the rainbow however and I think that is how we can ensure we get a good variety of the many micronutrients available.  Remember to specifically and intentionally include many forms of greens in your diet as they are known to be the most nutrient dense food on the planet.  

We love to make smoothies at home.  They are always different but we have a few tricks.  The first on is to save all your ripe fruit!  Pile, clean and chop it up in blendable sizes.  Place it in the freezer and run it through a gear drive juicer to make sorbet or in a quality blender (we enjoy using Vitamix machines) for a smoothie.  For bananas, wait until they are partially brown before pealing and placing in the freezer inside of a storage bag or container.  Frozen bananas are a wonderful treat as is or broken up in a smoothie or nut milk.  We use stevia and at times a little honey or agave for sweetener.  We sometimes use a vegan protein which can also add sweetness and texture.  One key is to make sure not to load your smoothies with too much fruit or too many different items.  Keep it simple with maybe just two major flavors.  For example, a wonderful smoothie could be banana and peanut butter.  We may add a little bit of apple or other frozen fruit but for sweetness more than flavor.  Add to that some vanilla, nut milk, spices, ice and you are good to go.  I like to start with some nut milk which is also very easy to make (e.g. almonds, water, dates, banana, vanilla).  Find a video on YouTube for instructions on how to make almond milk. https://youtu.be/rV28BFO6yXk
 
Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness

Give Yoga a Shot!

Is yoga really that hard? Can it help me lose weight, or tone up, or get healthier? The answer is YES to all of these questions. I often have people come into the studio that say, "I can't do yoga, I'm not flexible, or I don't think it will help me reach my goals." These statements really get me excited and chomping at the bit to share how amazing yoga is for the body. It has helped me heal from past surgeries, reduce stress, decrease body fat, tone my arms and legs, and I could go on and on. Yoga is for everybody, and every body! 

Here is a great article from Mind Body Green about how yoga can help promote weight loss. Check it out, and come try a yoga class with us. We have all levels of yoga, and a variety of teachers and class options to choose from. 

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5118/8-Ways-Yoga-Can-Promote-Weight-Loss.html

In Health, 

Teanna Gentry
Director of Operations
Hot Feet Fitness 

Hip Opening Sequence

Are your hips tight? According to the article written by Sara Novak on Naturally Savvy, "Your hips are the body’s junk drawer - they hold emotional stressors when you’re not sure where else to put them, yet you’re not entirely ready to release them. Have you ever felt the need to burst into tears in the middle of or directly after a yoga class? If so, it’s likely that the class included a host of hip openers, causing an emotional release marked by a flood of tears. Our tight hips aren’t just a result of sitting at a desk, in a car, or on the sofa while watching television, they’re also a sign of emotional stress building in the body’s largest joint. The hips are the body’s stabilizers, but they also serve as storage units that house sad memories, financial fears, relationship woes, and family issues. By taking the time each and every day to focus ample attention on the hips, you’ll release anxiety, fear, depression, and sadness - See more at: http://naturallysavvy.com/care/what-are-your-tight-hips-telling-you#sthash.YHgZE0RO.dpuf"

At Hot Feet our yoga instructors like to run through different yoga flows or sequences, and we recently posted about one on Seattle Yoga News. Check out the full article and/or picture below to get tension out of your hips and feel more relaxed:

http://seattleyoganews.com/hip-opening-yoga-poses/

Hip Opening Sequence.jpg (1.76 mb)

 

In Health, 
Teanna Gentry
Director of Operations at Hot Feet Fitness 

Steer Clear to Win

Excerpt from Five Percent Chance by Jerrod Sessler

Copyright © 2009 by Jerrod and Nikki Sessler

ISBN 978-0-615-33332-8 

LCCN 200994067

 

My hope is that this book is not characterized as a book with a bunch of “don’t do’s.” In fact, I nearly omitted this section altogether because I feel it is much more important that you focus on what you can do rather than what you cannot or should not do. In other words, you can be very successful in just doing the right things right, for the right reasons, rather than focusing on avoiding the wrong things and giving yourself a bad attitude and overall miserable disposition.

With that said, I am going to be very brief here and give you a list of the items you should avoid and the reasons why. I also want you to see how these apply to my recipes for disease, illness, and obesity. After this list, I have highlighted the two biggest concerns I have after having lived this diet for a number of years.

The foods listed below create most of the physical problems we experience. To have real health, eliminate them from your diet as quickly as possible. 

 

Foods to Be Avoided

Beverages. Alcohol, coffee, tea, cocoa, carbonated beverages and soft drinks, all artificial fruit drinks including sports drinks, and all commercial juices containing preservatives, salt, and sweeteners.

Dairy. All milk, cheese, eggs, ice cream, whipped toppings, and non-dairy creamers.

Fruit. Canned and sweetened fruits, along with non-organic dried fruits.

Grains. Refined, bleached flour products, cold breakfast cereals, and white rice.

Meats. Beef, pork fish, chicken, turkey, hamburgers, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, etc.

Nuts & Seeds. All roasted and/or salted seeds and nuts. Though peanuts are not a nut but a legume, they are very difficult to digest and should also be avoided. 

Oils. All lard, margarine, shortenings, and anything containing hydrogenated oils.

Seasonings. Table salt, black pepper, and any seasonings containing them. 

Soups. All canned, packaged, or creamed soups containing dairy products. 

Sweets. All refined white or brown sugars, sugar syrups, chocolate, candy, gum, cookies, donuts, cakes, pies, or other products containing refined sugars or artificial sweeteners. 

Vegetables. All canned vegetables containing added sodium or preservatives, or vegetables fried in oil. 

Once you have stopped eating the foods that will harm your health and started eating the foods that will enhance your health, you may experience some symptoms of detoxification. If you do, take heart! This means you are getting rid of toxins that have been stored in your body. 


If I was told I could only name two things to avoid consuming and I had to limit my list to just these, then this is what I would say. It is tough to categorize these appropriately because I have really strong feelings about both but I don’t think there is nearly as much science or personal experience around the second one as compared to the first so I will go in this order:

 

Animal products of any kind would be one that I would simply avoid all together. Dr. T. Colin Campbell explains, in detail, why animal products are so bad for the human body in his book, The China Study. It has to do with the protein and how it is processed in our bodies. It is really bad for our bodies as it leads to many of the western diseases we commonly experience as a culture. Dr. Joel Fuhrman in Eat to Live confirms this, and many life stories along with hundreds of scientific studies also corroborate this fact. This includes dairy, quite significantly because dairy includes the animal protein which is the chief contributor to the physical ailments. The story around fish and seafood is rather vague, however. It seems the protein in these swimmers is not as big of a problem as is the toxic load from the heavy metals often found in them. I ate some fish during the first couple of years of the lifestyle change but it was infrequent and in small portions. Eat to Live has a chart showing which fish are more likely to contain more heavy metals.

 

Excitotoxins of all kinds would be next on my list. I learned everything I know about excitotoxins from Dr. Russell Blaylock in his book by the same name, that is, other than what I learned by experiencing the chemical poisoning from excitotoxins first hand on several occasions. Because I know you want to know what an excitotoxin is, I will provide a brief overview here but if you want to know details, then check out Dr. Blaylock’s book.

What is an excitotoxin? An excitotoxin is an amino acid. Our bodies use a lot of amino acids regularly. The problem is that there are ways of creating amino acids in such a manner that they zoom past the protective blood-brain barrier and wreak havoc on our brain neurons (receptors). These “bad” amino acids are dubbed excitotoxins for reasons you are about to learn. The excitotoxin amino acid makes its way to the receptors in the brain that control the “feel good” signals. Interestingly enough, it is sort of like a gate. The excitotoxin holds open the gate to the receptor while calcium rushes in to cause the receptor to fire in rapid succession, sending a “feel good” signal elsewhere in the brain. Zinc and magnesium are designed to hold the gate closed in certain circumstances, but a deficiency in these minerals is common and thus leaves the receptors even more vulnerable. In other words, we are duped into thinking whatever we just did (or ate) was good for us and pleasurable. Soon after, the receptors (neurons) effected by the excitotoxin die. Here is what Dr. Blaylock says about the effects of the excitotoxins:

“When neurons are exposed to these substances, they become very excited and fire their impulses very rapidly until they reach a state of extreme exhaustion. Several hours later these neurons suddenly die, as if the cells were excited to death. As a result, neuroscientists have dubbed this class of chemicals ‘excitotoxins.’”

Clearly excitotoxins are something we should avoid, but where are they found? Some of the common names would be MSG, which is an acronym for monosodium glutamate or hydrolyzed protein. The problem is that many people know about the negative effects of MSG, so food manufacturers have resorted to creating new, similar substances and conveniently renaming them something else.  We have created another blog post with a fairly detailed list of excitotoxins that you may use for reference.

It is also important to remember my encouragement to think about what you can do rather than going too far down this path of all that you are bound from. There are more options than any of us combined will ever be able to explore and experience. Find the freedom in your lifestyle instead of focusing on the “don’t do’s.”


Jerrod Sessler
Founder of Hot Feet Fitness