If you are too tired all the time to exercise, you may want to ask yourself whether you are consuming an optimal diet. In my previous newsletters, I have discussed the challenges of food addiction and how eating complex carbohydrates that release insulin into your body more slowly can reduce your hunger pangs and help you to sustain your energy.
One of the top kinesiologists, Dr. Philip Maffetone, estimates that as much as one-third of the population is unable to process carbohydrates- sugars and starches – efficiently. According to his book, In Fitness and in Health: Everyone is an Athlete (Stamford, N.Y.: David Barmore Productions, 1994), as much as 40 percent of carbohydrates eaten are converted to fat in a normal person, and he says the ability to process carbohydrates often declines with age.
Dr. Maffetone lists the following symptoms of carbohydrate intolerance: fatigue, inability to concentrate, intestinal bloating, sleepiness, increased fat storage, especially a large belly in males and prominent buttocks and chipmunk cheeks in women. Also high triglycerides, even in those who are not overweight, as a result of carbohydrates from the diet being converted to insulin, and high blood pressure, and depression (I devoted an entire chapter to this subject in my book, Healing Depression: A Guide to Making Intelligent Choices about Treating Depression (Sante Fe, N.M.: Heartsfire Books, 1997).
Dr. Maffetone believes that carbohydrate intolerance is prevalent in persons addicted to alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes, and other drugs. Most nutritionists agree that the average person needs at least 100 grams of carbohydrate (equivalent to at least 400 calories), and many athletes need more to sustain high levels of energy.
And yet many of us overlook fruits and vegetables as a healthy source of carbohydrates, especially compared with junk foods like chips, donuts, and twinkies. Dr. Abram Hoffer, who wrote the introduction to my book, recommends this simple formula for the optimum diet for most people: proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, and lots of water – leaving out grains and processed foods.Congratulations, John Bell
John Bell won first place and $3,500 in an invitation-only amateur golf tournament. Mr. Bell had trained with me regularly for fitness when he heard me talking about the benefits of Brain Gym. Like most everyone else, he was extremely skeptical until one session produced dramatic results with his five iron. Now he has joined the ranks of golf pros, Olympic athletes, and Indianapolis race car drivers and uses Brain Gym regularly. “Having been an avid golfer for the past 40 years, I have always been intrigued by the fact that all of the really great players, i.e., Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and others, claimed golf at their level was 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. “Catherine Carrigan taught me to use Brain Gym to incorporate the mental side (which I had been missing all my life) with the physical side. “My handicap quickly dropped from an 8 to a 3 and my overall game improved so that I am now able to compete at state levels in senior events! “Brain Gym improved my game….hitting thousands of practice balls did not!”
Understanding Power Yoga and Partner Yoga
Power Yoga is an American version of the graceful but vigorous form of yoga called Ashtanga yoga. If you don’t believe that yoga could actually be a great work out, come try my class on Tuesday nights at 7:30 p.m. Members of the Philadelphia Eagles football team practice power yoga with Baron Baptiste, one of the leading proponents of this athletic style, with whom I studied this summer.
In Power Yoga, you can work on strength, balance, stamina, and peace of mind – all at one time. Partner Yoga, also called Double Yoga, is lots of fun. I teach this style of yoga on Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. It is not necessary to have had any previous experience with yoga to enjoy this class.
Stretching with another person can help you to dramatically increase your flexibility. You may bring a friend or practice with one of the friendly people who come regularly – we switch partners to practice the poses with people of different shapes and sizes. I also teach private yoga lessons, and have been trained in chakra flow therapy, a method of releasing tension stored in specific energy centers in the body.
Whatever style you choose to practice, you not only increase your flexibility and relax, you make a direct affect on your entire body chemistry. Most of us breathe 16-20 times a minute. In yoga when we slow to 4 to 6 deep breaths per minute, we are directly affecting the pineal gland, the hypothalamus, and literally change the acid-alkaline ratio of the body.
A famous yogini, Judith Lassater, told me that when she worked with Dr. Dean Ornish she found that even one yoga class would reduce cholesterol levels in her students by 50 points.