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No Sugars, No Grains: Is This the Key to Long-Term Health?

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What if I could promise you the body of your dreams in 90 days -- would you believe me? What if I told you that you didn't have to work out at all, would that sweeten the deal?

I know for some, you're like "Hell yea! Where do I sign?" Others are a bit more skeptical.

As much as we would like to believe that we can have abs like Brooke Burke or a chest like Hugh Jackman just by taking a pill, the truth is you won't. How can you? The answer is a bit more complex than a pill, but simpler than you think.

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with celebrity fitness trainer Vinnie Tortorich. I wanted to talk with him about his most recent book Fitness Confidential, which I absolutely love! In his book and throughout our conversation, he shared his secret to keeping your favorite celebs healthy and red carpet ready: no sugars and no grains.

As we talked, I discovered that his position (and mine) went well beyond the context of weight loss. As someone who has never personally dealt with being overweight, I was still able to readily identify with the benefits associated with this lifestyle change.

As someone living with an anxiety and panic disorder, cutting out most grains and sugar has helped keep my panic attacks to a minimum. Not to exclude exercise, yoga, meditation and juicing.

A large portion of the diseases we are faced with today are linked to inflammation in our bodies. This includes obesity, anxiety, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, depression, etc. In order to protect ourselves from these diseases, we must first protect ourselves from inflammation.

Refined sugars and grains are two of the most well-known co-defendants to inflammation in the case against sickness.

Sugar comes in a variety of forms: fructose (sugar in fruit), sucrose (table sugar), high fructose corn syrup (sweetener in fruit juices, sodas, ketchup, syrup, etc.) and alcohol among other things. The fact that we consume sugar isn't the problem. The problem is that we consume too much of it.

Sugar is highly addictive. It is also a contributor to heart disease, diabetes, mental illness, hyperactivity and breaks down the body's immune system. Not to mention, it's very toxic for your liver.

In addition, when we consume products high in sugar it disrupts the body's ability to experience satiety. What does this mean? It means that your brain will not register that you are satisfied, instead it will prompt you to eat more.

For me, sugar was public enemy number one in my battle against anxiety, beating out caffeine and dairy. I was consuming sugar from the time I woke up to the time I fell asleep.

For breakfast I'd grab a soy caramel latte with extra caramel, whip up some oatmeal topped with dried cranberries and honey, then finish it off with two slices of cinnamon raisin toast. Sounds like a great breakfast, right? Wrong!

My insulin levels were extremely high, which generally caused fatigue and clouded judgement.

As someone stricken with anxiety, any change in mental clarity often created panic, which resulted in the onset of a panic or anxiety attack.

Grains such as wheat, rye, rice and barley also contributes to the excessive sugar we consume everyday. Carbohydrates are broken down by our bodies into glucose (sugar). Any glucose that is not immediately used to refresh glycogen, is then stored as fat -- not the healthy fat.

Throw in additional hormone elevation, the overproduction of cortisol, along with the suppression of your immune system and you have now created inflammation in your body.

The best prevention is avoidance, but if you've found yourself currently battling your bodies dis-ease, not to worry, conversion is possible. Changing your dietary habits and becoming more active (if you are physically capable) are two of the most common things that can combat or reverse the symptoms of your ailment, with the potential of curing it altogether.

Reading Fitness Confidential was like speaking directly with a fitness expert. Vinnie delves into the rationale behind his no sugars, no grains approach to health and wellness, while sharing his personal story, his fight against leukemia and professional experiences as the foundation.

As a bonus he also teaches you about the tricks used by gyms to get people to join, as well as how to save money and maximize your membership. It's a must read!

I encourage you to safeguard your body and mind against the daily attacks from the food and drug industry. Fitness doesn't come in a pill and neither does health. It takes work! Be prepared, be knowledgable, but most importantly, be well.

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