Hair Care

Creatine: A Guide to the Popular Pre-Workout Supplement

Creatine Supplement
What Is Creatine? Creatine itself is naturally formed (made) in the kidneys and liver from bodily processes involving amino acids – glycine, arginine, and methionine.  Creatine is primarily consumed through the meat (red meat, poultry, fish) or individually as a dietary supplement.  It helps fuel high endurance or intensity exercise or workouts.  When ATP is used up (during these activities), it is converted into ADP (adenosine diphosphate) and AMP (adenosine monophosphate). Creatine helps increase the overall amount of cellular phosphocreatine (this is what creatine exists in cells as) and this, in turn, helps speed up the process of recycling ADP back into ATP.  Creatine transfers a high-energy phosphate from creatine phosphate to ADP to essentially regenerate ATP. This means more energy and strength for workouts. Creatine not only appears to benefit strength during intense exercise or resistance training (helping to contribute to increased lean mass gain) but also appears to be of benefit for mental fatigue and cognitive function.  This may be especially true for those who are vegan or vegetarian and intake less through dietary means, given that these prerequisite amino acids are found in high concentrations in meat and seafood.  Creatine is one of the most clinically studied, safe, and peer-reviewed supplements available. There are well over five-hundred publications (according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine) regarding the various aspects of creatine supplementation, including its efficacy, safety, and tolerance of it.  Many people consider creatine to be a “natural anabolic,” which might be a tad confusing for some people, as creatine doesn’t have anything to do with anabolic steroids directly. Even Allmax Nutrition themselves proclaim creatine to be the most trusted natural anabolic.  What exactly does this all mean? Let us touch on anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are essentially a ‘synthetic’ version of androgenic hormones – most commonly testosterone, and are sometimes used with resistance training for the sole purpose of enhancing the speed of muscle mass gain and strength gain.  This increase comes from testosterone entering the muscle cells, binding with the “intracellular androgen receptor,” and increasing the expression of particular genes. This leads to increased ATP (adenosine triphosphate production).  Creatine, as a supplement, can increase the capacity of ATP as well as energy produced during resistance or strength training, and as such is often compared to synthetic hormones as a ‘natural anabolic.’  Therefore, we can say that creatine functions physiologically in a similar way to steroids (and can help performance in the same way), they are not the same in the way they do this, nor are they categorized in the same way because of this.  Anabolic steroids have a different chemical structure than creatine and are blatantly considered prescription drugs as regulated by the FDA.  So, while many companies or bodybuilders may refer to creatine as a “natural anabolic” – they might not be exactly correct, but they also aren’t explicitly lying.  Creatine and Hair Loss  A quick cursory search around the internet for creatine will probably garner hundreds of results of men worried about creatine causing baldness, hair loss, or accelerating male pattern baldness.  Is any of this true? Is there any validity to these second-hand stories? Creatine itself absolutely does not directly lead to hair loss. The science is clear on that, so we should establish that immediately.  Most men aren’t going to want to make the choice between being ripped and having a nice head of hair.  The primary connection between creatine, hair loss, and concern online – all really just comes down to a single fairly small study of Rugby players who were found to have increased conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone).  This potentially shows that creatine may cause an elevation in a hormone (DHT) that can speed up the process of hair loss, but only in men predisposed to hair loss or male pattern baldness genetically.  The study does not explicitly link the two. In addition, the people in the study were taking quite a large serving size of 25g per day, compared to the recommended 5g. The size of the study is quite small as well, profiling only 20 volunteers.  What is the connection of DHT to balding? In men, DHT can bind to potentially susceptible androgen receptors in hair follicles and cause them to ‘shrink.’  Any anecdotal stories of men online may be men taking larger amounts of creatine long-term, who are at the same time genetically predisposed to hair loss or male pattern baldness.  Usually, these men also claim to recover any signs of thinning hair after stopping the creatine supplem ...

Ingredients & Toxins To Avoid When Skin Care Shopping

Our Skin is the largest organ of our body and it literally absorbs everything that we put on it. I am a firm believer of using products that are as natural as possible. I personally like to keep things simple and it is also better for mother earth as well.  My natural skincare Journey started in 2009 and has been on this clean journey ever since. The journey evolved over time with my Eczema prone skin. If you have any questions about transitioning to a natural beauty and skincare regime, please feel free to reach out. I have coached women over the years on understanding their bodies and selecting effective natural skincare. Changing your personal care products might seem very overwhelming and daunting at first. However, I promise it isn’t. How To Transition To Natural Skincare Products?  You may have so many questions running on in your mind.  Where should I start? You ask.  What products should I buy?  Should I throw away every single product that I currently have?  What products should I buy first?  Sorry to break it to you, I just want you to realize that there are toxins in almost every single consumer product we are using on our bodies.  Everything ranging from your toothpaste, shampoo, hand soap and body lotion all have toxins.  When it comes to making small changes on making a shift towards using better for you skincare and beauty products. Here is how I like to tell people to start. First, think of the products that we put on daily and don’t rinse off. These products stay on your body the longest and can easily enter our bloodstream.  So my recommendation is to definitely start there and start looking in your bathroom! For example body lotion, face cream, eye creams since it is closest to your eyes and foundation and sunscreen.  Our facial skin is rather sensitive, so our facial skin needs proper care. Our skin needs optimal hydration and adequate nutrition to remain healthy. However, the products we use may not always prove to be good for our skin, body and planet over time. Certain ingredients may include harmful chemicals so we need to be aware of them and start avoiding key ingredients ASAP.    Top 3 Products To Avoid In Beauty Products: Parabens The first one you should be aware of is parabens. This preservative is used in personal care products to increase their shelf life and essentially is added to prevent bacteria from growing. As your body absorbs these parabens, it attaches itself to your cells and disrupts the natural processes in the body. Medical researchers have found that there is a link to reproductive, neurological and skin irritation problems. You can identify parabens on product labels written in forms such as: ethylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, benzylparaben and butylparaben and etc. Silicone Another ingredient you should be aware of is “silicone. In a lot of conventional makeup stores, some makeup artists might argue that silicone does nothing to harm the skin. That it doesn’t suffocate or irritate the skin or allow bacteria in the air to penetrate it, while giving the skin nothing but a smooth even texture. That is why this ingredient is widely used in a lot of makeup bases formations and allows for makeup to be evenly applied. There is nothing wrong with that.  However, what the problem is that silicon DOES NOT allow anything to enter or exit the skin either. Silicone just ends up locking everything into the skin. Everything including oil as well as dead skin cells which potentially ends up causing acne and clogged pores. It will worsen the already acne-prone skin. It clogs the pores as it’s not easily washable. It has to be properly removed so that the skin can breathe or it will become dehydrated and you end up with premature wrinkles!  Synthetic Fragrences Yes, that nice scent has a hidden cost, who knew?! The mainstream branded luxury face cream may smell all flowery and natural but in reality not all fragrances are naturally extracted. They are made through various chemical combinations in a lab. Most companies that sell a custom signature scent have what is called a “trade secret” where their exact recipe of this fragrance is only labeled as fragrance. In fact, they can basically mask hundreds of toxic components contained in the mixture. Because mainstream companies are hiding the ingredient list to avoid full disclosure it is really at the risk of our health. Anyone can be allergic to any of the ingredients contained in the fragrance and may have a reaction on your skin.  Strong fragrances might be your favorite but it can cause serious headaches and nausea for others. While you may think harm from a fragrance to your skin might be invisible, the harm over time is real. The International Fragrance Association has listed over 2000 ingredients which have been used since 2011.  Other Ingredients To Avoid When ...

The main cause of hair loss in women and how to reverse it.

Hair loss affects many women. 40% of women have visible hair loss by age 40 and 80% by the age of 60.  Under healthy conditions, this should not occur, at least not to a significant extent.  What often is not known or fully appreciated, is that hair loss, - is a symptom of other things that are happening,  both internally and externally. There may be several possible causes of hair loss. This can occur in women who have low blood cell count or low hemoglobin or iron. Iron is required to produce hemoglobin and when hemoglobin is low, fewer blood cells are needed to carry it around the body. Hemoglobin carries and brings oxygen to all areas of the body, including the scalp and oxygen is needed for the production of energy needed to regenerate, restore and repair structures such as hair.  Certain medications can also contribute to hair loss, these include cholesterol-lowering medication, certain blood pressure lowering medications, other heart medications, cortisone, anti-fungal, and chemotherapy medications are some examples. They too generally interfere with energy generation or nutrient delivery to the scalp. Fortunately, often, natural alternatives do exist and you can consult a naturopathic doctor to discuss your specific health challenges and needs. Ultimately, the main factor in hair growth is the direct action of thyroid hormones on hair-producing cells to stimulate the laying down of hair fibers to grow new hair. While many women are diagnosed with low thyroid function, also known as hypothyroidism, the current diagnostic methods used to diagnose this condition are not perfect and miss many people with low thyroid function. Moreover, there are various extents of low thyroid function and some aren’t “severe” enough to be diagnosed as such, but none the less, result in not having enough active thyroid hormone to perform its various functions, including the stimulation of hair growth.  The active thyroid hormone T3 is produced from the pre-cursor, T4, which is produced by the thyroid gland, located at the front of the neck. T4 is made from the amino acid tyrosine, which is provided from dietary protein. Tyrosine binds four atoms of iodine to form T4. It is then converted to T3 by an enzyme that is activated by the mineral selenium to form the final active form of the hormone, T3.  The main function of the thyroid hormone is to initiate the production of energy in every single cell. When thyroid function is low, symptoms related to a reduced capacity to perform its function develop. These symptoms include low energy levels, feeling cold, usually in the hands and the feet, tendency to gain weight and difficulty losing weight, sluggish digestion and bowel function, difficulty sleeping, low mood hair loss and, sometimes brittle nails and dry skin.  Being aware of these symptoms can be helpful at evaluating and identifying low thyroid function when blood test results are seen as normal. It is also important to know what can cause suboptimal or low thyroid function in order to address it constructively. The most obvious cause is the insufficient supply of iodine or selenium to form the thyroid hormones. The richest source of dietary iodine is seaweed or kelp. Other relatively good sources are cod, tuna, dairy, potatoes, and strawberries. The richest source of selenium is Brazil nuts (2 per day) as well as any fish, seafood, poultry and meat, eggs and spinach. Excessive intake of chloride or fluoride from drinking or shower water can interfere with the absorption of iodine.  Another significant cause of low thyroid function is excessive stress. The stress hormone cortisol interferes with the production of the thyroid hormone T3. While there are many causes for stress and various strategies to address each stressor, vitamins such as vitamin C, B6, niacinamide and magnesium as well as medicinal plants such as Rhodiola Rosea (see rhoziva), can decrease the stress hormones and help improve thyroid function.  Other causes of low thyroid function can be exposed to environmental toxins such as mercury, intake of gluten and substances that block iodine known as goitrogens, present in raw cruciferous vegetables (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts). Cooking these vegetables removes the goitrogens.     Improving thyroid function can help improve healthy hair growth. Other, popular -supplements that can help are silica and biotin.  Silica is the second most abundant mineral on earth, found in rocks and hardy plants. It provides strength and longevity to hair fibers but doesn’t necessarily stimulate growth. Biotin is also known for its healthy hair and nail supporting properties. It is involved in the production of certain amino acids that are present in the hair fiber (made of the protein Keratin).  If you want to simplify, optimize and support faster healthy hair gro ...

Happy Mother's Day from Healthy Planet!

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! This is the perfect opportunity to treat all the Mama's in your life and even yourself to a few sweet gifts to celebrate this beautiful day. Healthy Planet is currently running an INCREDIBLE Mother's Day Sale, full of pampering and practical products for all Mothers! I have narrowed down my top 4 favourite products that not only do I use, but would make the  perfect Health & Wellness gifts for the Mama's in your life this Mother’s Day!   Organika Collagen – Because healthy skin is always on trend. Collagen has many beautiful benefits that does our body so good - promotes skin health, boost muscle mass, improve ingestive health, burns fat, alleviate joint pains, promotes heart health, and improves cognitive health. Our bodies naturally produce collagen, however our ability to produce it decreases less and less as we age. This is why it is so important to either incorporate foods that contain collagen in our diet or supplement it with a product like, Organika Collagen. Because let’s be real, who doesn’t want beautiful skin? Skin Essence Facial in a Jar – Spoil the Mama's in your life with this multipurpose product. You can either use this as an exfoliator to scrub away dead skin or leave it on as a mask so that the product can absorb all the oils and impurities out of your skin. Either way, this product will leave your skin super soft, supple, nourished and will brighten your overall complexion!   Everyone Hand Soap Coconut Lavender – This is the best naturally smelling hand soap on the market. I really love that it is kind to our earth, cruelty free, gluten free, does not contain synthetic fragrance, and really does a wonderful job at cleansing and moisturizing the skin.   Andalou Naturals Body Lotion Lavender Thyme – You will not catch me without some sort of hand lotion in my diaper bag. With all the diaper changing and constantly washing my hands to avoid catching my toddler’s germs, it strips away my natural oils leaving my skin super dry and cracked. I love this hand lotion not only does it DELICIOUS but it also does a fab job at moisturizing and keeping the skin moisturized for a long period of time. If Lavender Thyme isn’t your jam, they also have a large selection of other scents as well!   Written by Healthy Planet Ambassador @lifestylebycp.  Follow Cherrie as she lives her best life spreading her vision of the Health and Wellness lifestyle with the help of Healthy Planet!

Healthy Earth Day

  Every day is Earth Day at Healthy Planet! As we continue to work on improving ways to help the planet Live Life Healthy, We are fortunate enough to work alongside like minded ambassadors of Health and Wellness! Here are some of their products that not only help them live their best life, they are Earth friendly as well!   karmic.kara"I think my favourite Earth friendly product is Iron Vegan Protein Powder because vegan products help the animals, the environment and the planet! So I love that I can still get tons of protein while conserving/helping in those areas! :)" keto.cute_eh"I’m a huge fan of is The Green Beaver company. I have been using their make up remover for almost a year and it’s amazing.I love that it’s all organic, all-natural, sensitive on my skin, and not tested on animals!" lifestylebycp "Eco Lunch Box! I love that is so durable, toxin free and of course reusable. Stores all my goodies without the use of plastic contains and bags. With this product in your household, there’s no excuses whatsoever to have any plastic containers period!""My favourite is My Progressive Harmonized Vegan Protein The fact that eating plant-based is better for the environment and for your health! Progressive is made with quality ingredients and is also dairy and gluten free! I LOVE IT!" kellymnutrition"I’d have to say Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap for a few reasons. It’s organic and free of toxins making it healthier for the environment and you. Plus it’s super versatile and can be used for anything, from personal care to cleaning the house. Its a must-have for anyone looking to reduce their exposure to chemicals and keep their house a little greener." Melissliliana "My favourite Earth Friendly product is Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap! It’s an 18-in-1 so it replaces so many of my products and reduces waste. My favourite is the peppermint and I love to use it as a body wash and for household cleaning, it does it all! Dr. Bronner’s is made with 100% vegetable oils, is totally biodegradable and is harvested sustainably, which makes it my top pick for planet earth!"

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5 Brilliant, Every Day Uses for Old Coffee Grounds

Did you know that after you’ve made coffee, a range of valuable phytonutrients, including minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids, remain in the filter [1]? So hold off throwing those old coffee grounds immediately into the compost and try reusing them in one of the following 5 ways: 1. Marinade Believe it or not, spent coffee grounds add an excellent dimension to the flavour of marinades. The below recipe is perfect for tofu, eggplant, meat, fish, or poultry. Marinate for 1–3 hours before cooking. ¼ cup spent coffee grounds ¼ cup balsamic vinegar 2 cloves garlic, crushed ¼ cup red onion, chopped ¼ cup of water ¼ tsp sea salt, ground ¼ tsp black pepper 2. Body Scrub The grainy texture of coffee grounds makes them perfect exfoliators for homemade body scrubs. They add a nice aroma too! To make your own exfoliant, simply combine the following ingredients: ½ cup coconut oil, melted 1 drop vanilla essence ½ cup coffee grounds, dry ¼ cup white sugar 3. Baking Use coffee grounds to add a little zip to an energy bar, granola, cookie, or muffin recipe. While you need to use fresh grounds for baking, you don’t need a lot. In fact,  just two teaspoons is often enough for a standard recipe. There are a lot of flavours that pair well with coffee, such as: Vanilla Chocolate Almond butter Banana Maple Molasses Orange zest 4. Hair Mask Take your regular hair conditioner to the next level!  Using a 1:1 ratio, combine conditioner and leftover coffee grounds. Gently massage the mixture into hair and scalp for an all-in-one conditioning and exfoliating experience. 5. Deodorize Naturally Similar to baking soda, coffee grounds also absorb odour. Combat lingering scents in your fridge and freezer by placing a bowl of fresh leftover coffee grounds inside. You can also make your own natural air freshener sachets for your car, closet, or shoes. Simply place dried, spent coffee grounds in a cheesecloth and tie closed with a string. Perhaps you want to experience the nutritional benefits of coffee beans without the hassle of grounds or feeling over-caffeinated. Green Coffee Bean is a stimulant-free extract that complements a healthy lifestyle. Green Coffee Bean incorporates a calorie-reduced diet and regular physicial activity for individuals involved in a weight management program, and contains chlorogenic acids and polyphenols, with only 2% caffeine. References: [1] Campos-Vega, Rocio, Guadalupe Loarca-Pina, Hayde Vergara-Castaneda, and Dave Oomah. “Spent Coffee Grounds: A Review on Current Research and Future Prospects.” Trends in Food Science & Technology, vol 73, no. 2, 2015, pp. 24-36. Web. 19 October 2016

5 Simple Secrets for Healthy Summer Hair

Ah, summer has arrived! The season of fresh local berries, warm summer evenings, lazy beach days, and parched, brittle hair. That’s right – summer hair can be an uphill battle! The good news is that you can help protect your tresses from the effects of UV rays, heat, pool water, or whatever summer throws your way with the help of these five summer hair tips: 1. Trim Regularly Begin summer with a fresh trim to get rid of split ends. When left on, split ends can travel upwards along the hair to cause more damage. By trimming your hair regularly, you can help keep it looking and feeling healthy all year round.   2. Protect From UV Just like your skin, hair is susceptible to sun damage and oxidation from its UV rays. In fact, high sun exposure is one of the most common causes of structurally damaged hair [1]. Protect your hair (and face!) by wearing a wide brim hat or applying a hair product that contains UV filters.   3. Rinse Off Swimming in chlorinated pools and the ocean is a summertime staple, but it can also damage your hair. Help protect it by thoroughly rinsing and conditioning your hair before and after swimming. Rinsing beforehand helps saturate hair follicles to reduce its absorption of pool water, while washing and conditioning after helps remove damaging chemicals and drying salts [2]. 4. Give Your Styling Tools a Vacation Hair dryers, flat irons, and curling irons put a lot of stress on your hair, contributing to dryness and breakage. Help preserve your hair’s health by letting it dry in the warm summer air, embracing your own natural waves, or sporting a casual, timeless summer braid.   5. Eat a Balanced Diet Just like the rest of your body, what you eat affects the health of your hair. It relies on a sufficient intake of protein, iron, and a broad range of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and zinc [3].   References: [1] Sebetic K, Sjerobabski M, Cavka V, et al. UV Damage of the Hair. Coll Antropol. 2008; 32.2:163-5. [2] American Academy of Dermatology. Tips for Healthy Hair. Web. 1 June 2016. [3] Finner A. Nutrition and Hair Deficiencies and Supplements. Dermatol Clin. 2013; 31:167-172.

Say Goodbye to Bad WInter Hair Days

SAY GOODBYE TO BAD WINTER HAIR DAYS! Harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on your skin and your strands creating unpleasant bad hair days for months. From hat hair to split ends and frizz, damage caused by the dropping temperatures, wind, and heating in your home, your hair can really turn into an unattractive mess! Don’t worry your pretty head about it because we have some great tips for how you can tame your frizz, nourish those dry ends, and protect your lovely locks! 7 Winter Hair Care Tips   1. Condition, condition, condition  Winter months require more nourishment for your hair, period. You should be treating your hair to a deep condition once a week. This will help replace moisture which is lost due to cold air and dry heat. If you tend to have greasy roots, concentrate on conditioning just the tips. You can even use some as a styling product to help dull dry hair look shinny instantly.    2. Wash your hair less Shampoo can strip away moisture from your hair so cutting back on how often you wash your hair will help keep those strands from drying out. If you have greasy roots and tend to shower every day, try an alternative like dry shampoo or powder to absorb the grease, or wear a hat and try to leave it for two to three days before washing it.    3. Take care when washing Hot water not only dries out your skin but your strands too. Turn the temperature down in your shower, lukewarm or cool water is best. You can also close up the hair cuticles by hitting your hair with cold water at the end of the shower.   4. Caution when wet Your hair is at its weakest when wet. This means you should be extra careful when brushing, drying, and styling your hair. Using a soft towel when you get out of the shower to remove any excess water and a wide-toothed comb to brush out your stands when wet will help protect it from breakage.      5. Cool it with the appliances Try to limit your use of hair dryers and heated appliances. I know that it can be really hard to not straighten out those bumps with your straightener every morning, but resist the urge to do it every day. If you can’t avoid them all together, use low heat and avoid the ends.   6. Get rid of those dry ends One effective way of keeping your hair healthy all year round is getting a regular trim every 6-8 weeks. This is extra important in the winter months. Getting rid of the dry ends helps with hair growth and helps give natural curls an extra bounce!   7. Get moisture back in your air A humidifier can benefit not only your hair but your dry skin too! Using a humidifier is a win win all around in the winter months.  Reference:
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