RAW FOOD THOUGHTS

The concept of eating raw produce dates back to the origin of life in the Garden of Eden. The garden did not have a fire pit but it was adorned with plants and produce sufficient enough for joyful sustainment of life. But alas, we no longer live in the garden, we have clothes and we eat way more on our schedule than our original parents did. In fact, they didn't even have a calendar!

 

The challenge that I run up against in real life is not realizing or accepting that raw foods are good for me. I know they are live foods and I know my body is alive. So of course a living food would be able to better nourish my living body than some dead old food spiced up to please may taste buds. Of course, but then reality kicks in. We are literally programmed to see food as "cooked food." Our entire culture is set up and supportive of a primarily cooked food diet and lifestyle. It is difficult to acquire good food that is prepared using fully raw methods. So the bottom line is that eating raw takes some time but let me also share with you that it can also be the easiest and quickest way to eat.

 

Before I explain how to eat "simple raw," let me explain why eating raw is so difficult. We are programmed to relate experiences with our food. I remember baking all manner or yumminess with my mom in the kitchen in my early years. I love to bake and feel like it is just natural, right and delicious. But little of it is really nourishing to my physical body. I like to think the encouragement a fresh loaf of orange bread gives to my soul makes up for the harm it does to my body but I am probably dreaming. We try to recreate cooked foods in a raw form because we are programed to enjoy pizza, soup, sandwiches, tacos, cake, ice cream and all sorts of other things.

 

To eat "simple raw," you simply grab a piece of produce, get really adventurous and chomp right into it. My favorites are: a) organic red peppers which are actually really sweet; b) organic cucumbers because they taste great, have amazing variety in the flavor of the peal and they are really easy to eat. c)Organic broccoli because it is really amazing tasting raw. (note that I specifically said "organic" for each of these - the conventionally grown counterparts will not elicit anything near the same pleasure as organic). There are many other easy grab and go options. Freggies.com actually delivers fresh boxes of grab-n-go produce right to your home or office weekly. If you are hungry and your on the go then try this trick. Stop at the nearest grocery store and head straight to the produce isle and grab whatever you want. Maybe one of my favorites or something you think you will enjoy. 

 

I have gone for extended periods eating just raw or even just juicing fresh, raw, organic produce. I have never felt better than when I focus on and consume mostly raw, fresh, organic produce! My encouragement is to try something this week, make a little change and see how you feel after. Trade a lunch for a raw meal. Try something "simple raw" if your in a pinch for time. Grab a fresh juice or an all raw smoothie. You may also take a look through some of these recipes for ideas:  http://www.freggies.com/Produce/Recipes

 

I love Hot Feet Fitness classes, team, instructors and the community we are building. I know this community is key to our success in living a fully healthy life. Eating raw is part of the work we can do outside of the gym, in our kitchen or on the go. Try something new this week!

 

Jerrod Sessler, Founder of Hot Feet Fitness & Cancer Survivor

I LOST 40lbs IN 3 MONTHS!

The doctors said that I was likely not going to make it through the diagnosis. Based on historical evidence as a result of others with a similar diagnosis, they were probably right.
 
At that point, what did I have to lose? I could submit to the conventional medical treatment that commonly still results in a funeral happening or I could sprint back to our roots. Those roots take us back to the Garden of Eden and a raw plant-based diet.
 
I started juicing raw, fresh, organic produce. I did not limit the volume or selection of what I was eating other than it had to be from a plant source. I was not hungry. The struggle was only mental, not physical. My physical was well nourished - possibly better than it had been in a long time.
 
The pounds started melting away. Some weeks I lost more than a pound a day on average. I was not working hard physically, I was however charged up mentally and seeing battles in my mind that I had never faced.
 
I began to see my fork as my implement of life or death. I could stab a slab that would contribute to my death or I could leverage it as a tool to deliver the goods and supplies my bodily functions needed to produce health cells and to feed the good army within as they went into battle for my life daily.
 
I lost weight but I won the important battle. I get to live.
 
Jerrod Sessler, Founder
Hot Feet Fitness

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

Live Healthy Program

Starting Sunday, November 1st we are kicking off the first Live Healthy Program. Why did we start this program? Because we believe that living healthy is achievable for everyone and in community we can all encourage each other to strive to make better choices, be fit, and love it everyday. When you are a member of Hot Feet Fitness you are able to join the program at no charge and utilize a wealth of information we provide to you that all circles back to creating a better, healthy lifestyle for you and your family. 

Visit this page below to learn more about adopting a good, long term, maintenance diet. 
http://hotfeetfitness.com/about-eating 

In November we have 13 members who have decided they want to be a part of this program, and we are so excited to see the their results at the end of the month. If you see them at the studio, or see their name on the blackboard, give them a high five or quick note to empower them in their efforts towards better health. 

Are you interested in joining us on our health and fitness journey with this program? Email me to get more details at teanna@hotfeetfitness.com. 

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