Injury Solutions: For Sports and Life


Bad exercises, bad exercise prescription, bad coaches, or bad luck?

Injuries in sport and life occur as a consequence or combination of many factors including age, fatigue, over-use, previous injury, lack of physical fitness and preparedness. Are you more susceptible to injury than most?

If an injury has entered your life in some way then I suggest you take a look at whether it’s bad exercises, bad exercise selection or prescription, bad coaching, or bad luck.

All could be factors for you when considering exactly how you got injured.

What are you doing or not doing to mitigate your risk of injury? Have you managed to balance the risks and rewards of your activities?

The cause of an injury is often highly discussed after the fact. Bad luck is about the only thing out of your control. It’s often not the injury itself but what you did or didn’t do before the injury occurred that got you there. So, here’s a take on bad exercises, bad exercise prescription, and bad coaching, the last of which is a sensitive issue for me as I’m a coach……

Are there bad exercises?

Yes, I would say there are bad exercises. We know more today than ever on what constitutes a good movement. Yet on reading the point and counterpoint arguments from the paper “Abdominal Crunches Are/Are Not a Safe and Effective Exercise,” by researcher Brad Schoenfeld I can see that crunches may be safe and needed for certain individuals but that the inherent and documented risks are indeed harmful enough that nobody should be doing them ever again.

“Should we classify exercises as good or bad?” This question was addressed in an editorial in the Strength and Conditioning Journal this month. Author Dr. Morey Kolber suggests the answers are left in the hands of experts and this begs the question of “What constitutes an expert? Is it  “The individual with the best physique who offers training sessions and advice, or the researcher with the education and citations to produce a statement paper?

Bad Exercise Prescription

The risk versus reward paradigm is individual for us all.  The safety of the exercise selection or prescription requires the assessment of the individual performing the exercise, and there is not one size fits all. In fact, this is where the art, science, and years of practice come together. “Professional judgment involves considering multiple, and often contradicting, sources of knowledge. (-2)

Are you training yourself or putting your kids/grand-kids at risk by assuming that sports will get them fit? Remember when the load exceeds the capacity we get an injury. Think of an injury of your own or someone you know …. OK now where they physically prepared and did they have the athletic competency to meet the demand? Sometimes injuries seem like they occur because of that “one” thing you did but more often they are conditioned over time with too much of a bad thing and or not enough good things!

The lack of physical fitness or preparedness is what I’m talking about here.  Do you have the athletic competency or neuromuscular control for the tasks you are doing? Another thing to remember is that your previous injuries are the biggest indicators of your next injury if you have not rehabilitated and made yourself capable of withstanding more than the load that injured you in the first place.

Did you or a coach pick that exercise for you?

Bad Coaches

Who is your coach and what do they do to show you they are wise in professional judgement?

Often with big hearts and egos, I find the training industry full of people with a lack of common ground on which to work from. When I meet and liaise with like-minded professionals I feel and see the results. Is it a lack of knowledge, lack of attention, or lack of confidence that continues to plague the fitness industry and divide the results for our consumers?

I continue to strive for fitness results. I coach and lead with a degree of “pickiness” not seen or felt by many. At the risk of making the client or coach feel uneasy or unsuccessful in our politically correct world I know I’m gaining a reputation for this. It bothers me that your bad movements are not corrected and that we all don’t agree on what constitutes bad.

Trust me when I share with you that seeing bad movement bothers me. I’m so tired of wearing blinders in the world outside of my training facility. Do I need to wear blinders? I don’t want to see bad coaching and when I do I feel I have to be careful what I say for fear the repercussions will cause me legal issues.

Are we coaching to the kids correctly?

We are putting kids into sports and a lot of them don’t have what it takes to play without sustaining injury.

Would I like to change the way we introduce movement to kids? Yes!! Changing that is one of the bigger picture goals I have for myself. Improving how we all move as we age has got to be the start of the end to chronic health issues. I believe we need to get kids moving better from an early age. This involves the schools, but even more so the parents. Setting limits on the early specialization of sport, total number of hours per week in organized sport, as well as taking time off every year (1-3 months) are places for the parents to start.

Fact: Safe Kids Worldwide survey of emergency room visits shows more than a million times a year, or about every 25 seconds, a young athlete visits a hospital emergency room for a sports-related injury.


What’s the hurry? Trust the Process

So many of us want the quick results that will get us back in action. Fixing the underlying problem(s) that lead to your injury in the first place takes time. Trusting the process simply means that great things will happen when we don’t rush and skip the steps needed for recovery and prevention.

Not currently injured?

This is the best time ever to up your routine and layer a new level of fitness on top of your baseline. Wherever you are in your fitness journey there is room for improvement. Please don’t take the movement game lightly. Moving well can make everything in your world better.

Unfortunately for us all defining good movement, good exercise selection, and good coaching requires a little more than good luck.

One last thing:

One of the best things over the last two years for me has been the opportunity to be on the Jon McComb show’s “Fitness Segment.” It has provided me with challenges that I have worked hard to fulfill. Researching and providing the topic and content is one thing, then speaking live on air is another. From that, I now lead into speaking more confidently with opinion and authority on topics that are very dear to me and my reputation.

I call myself a picky trainer. The degree of detail needed to move well can be overwhelming. Many of you are not moving well. Even with the coaching that you receive, you are not moving well. Is this your fault, the coaches fault, or the systems we have in place at large?  Meaning: From early in life movement impairment happens. The schools, the parents, the environment, the sports (or lack of them), the rehabilitation process…. the list goes on.

There is nothing in here about prevention. We can’t agree on good movement anyway so how can we agree on prevention and what that really means. What is the cost to us all? Huge I say when you consider the implications from a small personal perspective to a larger scale public health one.

Enhancing your strength enhances your life. I encourage you to keep learning how to get strong. No matter where you are today you can work to improve your movement quality and strength. You can and you should!

Written by: Sheila Hamilton Oct 2017

Move Your DNA: Katy Bowman Copyright 2017
Should We Classify Exercises as Good Versus Bad?
Sport Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation: Book David Joyce and Daniel Lewindon Copyright 2016

Kolber, Morey J. PT, PhD, CSCS*D; Gearity, Brian T. PhD, CSCS, RSCC

Strength & Conditioning Journal: October 2017 – Volume 39 – Issue 5 – p 1–2

doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000329

Abdominal Crunches Are/Are Not a Safe and Effective Exercise

Schoenfeld, Brad J. PhD, CSCS*D, NSCA-CPT*D, CSPS*D, FNSCA; Kolber, Morey J. PT, PhD, CSCS*D

Section Editor(s): Galpin, Andrew J. PhD, CSCS, NCSA-CPT

Strength & Conditioning Journal: December 2016 – Volume 38 – Issue 6 – p 61–64

doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000263

Columns: Point/Counterpoint (2)

The Risks of Sports Specialization in the Adolescent Female Athlete

Jayanthi, Neeru A. MD; Dugas, Lara R. PhD, MPH

Strength & Conditioning Journal: April 2017 – Volume 39 – Issue 2 – p 20–26

doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000293


Injury Prevention in Youth Athletes: A Summary in 9 Key Points
High training workloads alone do not cause sports injuries
  1. Tim J Gabbett1,2,
  2. Billy T Hulin3,
  3. Peter Blanch4,5,
  4. Rod Whiteley

Copyright: <a href=’′>limbi007 / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Is this a good time for some “Lean Strategies?”


The Best Way To Get Something Done Is To Begin

It could be the time of year, change of season, or something a little subtler gnawing away at you to make some changes in your daily routine to lean down. I have read the book, “Legally Lean, Sports Nutrition Strategies for Optimal Health and Performance,” by Lisa Dorfman this past week and found the many reminders throughout the book helpful and motivating to stay on track.  Combined with fall being my favorite time of year I’m hoping you will feel my enthusiasm and take away a few ideas that will help you in your journey of health, fitness, and weight management.

I have to admit that the title of Dorfman’s book appeals especially after Thanksgiving. When I think back on what I ate though overall I’m pretty happy with the quantity I consumed. Another positive this year for me was making a vegetarian option after years of being bound to the traditional menus. It was “Lentil Loaf” with a lot of tasty side dishes that didn’t make me miss the turkey!

If you think you might be eating too much meat check out my blog from a few months back exploring the idea of moving to a more plant-based diet. I also like the idea of time chunking.  If the idea of setting a block of time off to work on a specific goal appeals between now and Christmas, for example, check out my blog on time chunking.

I’m amused at myself for thinking to look back on the time chunking blog because it was written by me around the same time last year.  My point here is that even though I know I do a lot of things right, there is definitely room for improvement, and that’s what I enjoy sharing. So the idea of change and improvement is appealing, (Think leaner or healthier, like more vegetables, less meat, less eating out….) the chunk of time to change is available, and now we need to work on the specifics and get started.

Legally Lean

Historically there have been many things that one could take to improve results. “As far back as 776 B.C.E. Greek athletes used whatever they could to improve performance.” (-1) Dorfman lays out the statistics on athletes of today still doing whatever it takes, legal or otherwise to improve performance and results. When talking weight loss this leads to dietary supplements, and technically all “ergogenic aids” that encompass legitimate supplements as well as illegal pharmacological agents. Although you may be thinking the stats only apply to professional athletes, I know there are problems with this at the recreational and elite level. Whether it’s something to improve performance and recovery, aid in weight loss, prevent or treat an illness, or compensate for a bad diet it’s still something you are taking to improve results that could carry RISKS.

Who is manufacturing and monitoring your supplements? Are they safe? Who is giving you advice on what to take? Making sure you tap into professionals is the message here as friends, trainers, advertisements, and the internet do not know the big picture of you and your health history. There’s a lot to consider here including some potential interactions between your supplements, and not forgetting the cost of them. I urge you to pay attention to what you are taking.

Food First

This is where I really like the book and its succinct advice. If there was magic in a supplement or a quick fix I’d like to believe that I would have it to share. Dorfman encourages you to adopt some overriding principles and decide to succeed. “Research suggests that repetitive weight cycling (Repetitive attempts to lose weight only to regain it) impedes permanent efforts to stay lean. (-2) ”

Legally Lean’s Principles – Lisa Dorfman

Go Hard 3: Easy 1

So 3 days dialed in, and one “relief” day. Not an “eat anything you want,” or “cheat day” but one where you can regenerate and replenish.

Detox Unhealthy Habits

The hard part: removing dietary toxins, your personal food addictions, and bad habits. What obstacles are holding you back from being the best that you can be?  Working to remove harmful environmental, nutritional, and emotional toxins may take some work. Feeling worse before you feel better is something Dorfman lays out in her stages of detoxification that work on your gut and liver and mindset.

Break a Sweat

Well, of course, this is going to help stay on track as the physical and psychological benefits are well researched. Exercise helps to control your weight by burning more calories no matter what type you choose to do. Exercise, in Dorman’s (and my) opinion, is the way you are going to succeed at any of these principles because of the “holistic connection between you cardiovascular, skeletal, and muscular system, and your mind, spirit, and enthusiasm for life.”

Connect Consciously

This means eating, clean non-processed foods, fresh from the farm to finish. (Dorfman suggests organics are preferred and gives you resources to back this up and source them.) Eating slowly, watching portion sizes, and tracking your progress with a food log is also recommended.

Get Lean, Get Rest

The amount of sleep we get continues to be a hot topic in terms of weight loss. There are many factors that affect your ability to rest including stress, hormones, diet, and the use of substances like alcohol and caffeine. If you are going to commit to making some changes and your sleep habits are not good, then you might want to think about starting here.

More Legally Lean Ideas

The A-Z Legally Lean Food Reference Guide is a great resource for shopping and meal planning to enhance your training, performance, and recovery. Getting ourselves to a healthy weight and keeping ourselves there as the years go by is what we need for healthy aging.

What Supplements?

I get asked about supplements a lot and I’m happy to share what I’m taking and why but it’s not in my scope of practice to tell you what to take. Dorfman lists many of the legal supplements along with the reasons why you would consider taking them. There are many excellent websites in which to look deeper into safety. I used for BCAA’s information this week and was amazed at the amount of information on just this one supplement!

Whether it’s general health, gut health, joint health, muscle growth and repair, metabolism, or fat reduction I suggest you should know your supplements before popping them!

Investing in this book is recommended because investing in yourself is worth it. We are all athletes of sorts and so embracing a change or two can accelerate your health.

You can improve, and you should. What are you going to work on first?

Written by Sheila Hamilton

Click here to listen to Sheila discuss this topic with Jon McComb on the “Fitness Segment,” which airs live every Thursday at 9:05 am CKNW 980am radio.



Legally Lean: Sports Nutrition Strategies for Optimal Health and Performance. Copyright 2014 Lisa Dorfman

(1), (-2) -p 33

Time to take action! Chunks of your time await you!

Meat, Muscles, and Drex….The son of a butcher.

Back to Back


Everyday Matters!

Your biological limits, movement habits, and training determine your health.

Back pain is no joke.

Your biological limits, movement habits, and training determine your back health and what you do every day matters very much!

Not only is this blog about backs once again, it’s back to back courses over the last two weeks that has me visualizing your discs as we speak! Dr. Andreo Spina last week and once again Dr. Stuart McGill this week in Portland. Dr. McGill offering for the first time a Level 3 to his series of lectures on “Progressing Backs from Pain to Performance.” As I have attended the Level 1 and 2 twice I felt it was important for me to attend as I continue to geek out on movement and back training!

I want to know the best way to train clients for fitness results. It’s disheartening to hear Dr. McGill tell the group that improper training, both from under-qualified trainers, and from training oneself with good intentions that is a major cause of back injury and pain. My investment is both personal and professional. Other equally committed colleagues and I continue to learn, lead, change, and grow our training methods and principles based on new research. Many of us wish we had this knowledge earlier in our careers and training ages as it would have saved us from problems ourselves!

Injuries always teach us something about our weakest links. If you have ever had a back injury and/or suffered back pain you might not have thought about the positives you can get from going through that experience. McGill co-authors his new book with athlete Brian Carroll titled “Gift Of Injury”, which is a comprehensive review of Carroll’s catastrophic back injury and return to a world power-lifting title. Dr. McGill never ceases to hold my attention as he lectures and recalls the histories of Carroll and many other athletes that he has worked with through their back injuries. I can’t help but think that there is hope for the many people that I can reach out to with my knowledge and passion for this all too common problem. Back pain is no joke, and it affects over 80% of us at some point in our lifetime.

Dr. David Olson from Edgemont Chiropractic tells me that he suspects the remaining 20% have been fortunate enough to forget about their back incident or are not being completely truthful! Dr. Olson follows this up with saying in his experience so many don’t do the work required to get better. They do not so the simple stuff and they do no commit to the long-term work needed to get strong which he believes is loading the spine. This all means that over half of his patients never fully recover and become long-term victims of the pain/injury cycle. Dr. Olson is very progressive in his thinking. Read: This Dr. wants you to do more than what is in his ability to help you with.

Assess Posture, Motions, and Loads

Posture is the buzz word lately and respecting that your daily life is important as poor posture eats up a lot of your training capacity. Pain is also highlighted as Dr. McGill wants us to listen to the pain. Removing postures, motions, and loads to find the triggers for your pain is the way to start. This is done by looking at everything you do 24/7.

Create a program that you can do daily.

Your spine is unique from the other joints in your body. Learning the guidelines and best practices for movement is one thing, adhering to them is another. If we go back to learning the guidelines and agreeing to them then we have a lot of work to do to get everyone on the same page. I mean you, me, all trainers, all physios, chiropractors, doctors, coaches, parents, and so the list grows. Part of the problem is that there are just too many opinions on what best practices are. Although there is some wiggle room there are too many people and too many movements to agree on. This is a Big Can of Worms!! I’m ok – let’s open it. What about our kids?

We all have biological limits and if you violate yours you will pay.

From my perspective, I see back health issues arising from a large cross-section of people. From the deconditioned to the super-fit, the violation of your biological limits will result in breakdown. Some spines are just longer and thinner and they are at a mechanical disadvantage to support you. Some of you can blame your genes then but you could be the reason you have a bad back. did you know that?

Who has a back issue or could be creating one?

√:  Gofers, mothers, swimmers, desk jockeys, athletes of any sport, construction workers, overweight, osteoporosis…Special note to those training themselves: a lot has changed in the training game. Get current and enlist a professional to help you!

Repeat: Create a program to do daily. Not negotiable.

This issue is the most interesting part of my work. Everyone wants a healthy back. I can be the one to tell you what to do to get there but are you prepared to do what I recommend?

“It Depends”

What should you do? Dr. McGill answers many of the questions sent his way with, “It depends.” Not really all that helpful but draws attention to the facts. You should have an assessment and figure out what your pain triggers are so you can eliminate them. Respect your biological limits with appropriate goals and a program that is balanced, appropriate, and safe. You should move daily and strength train twice a week.

Dr. McGill has me thinking about a lot this week. I’m ready to up the focus to get stronger and share that with clients of it’s time! Competent movement determines your health. Your health is important on many levels.

Let’s turn down the music, and turn up the focus on doing things right. No more gum chewing, and not eating like an adult. Get your daily habits in order and train like you want it.

You can and you should. Now go for a walk 😉

Written by: Sheila Hamilton October 2017

Click here to listen to Sheila discuss this topic with Jon McComb on the “Fitness Segment,” which airs live every Thursday at 9:05 am CKNW 980am radio.

Book: Gift of Injury Stuart McGill and Brian Carroll: The StrengthAthlete’s Guide to Recovering from Back Injury and Winning Again

Conversation with Dr. David Olson: Edgemont Chiropractic: Oct 4, 2017

Course notes: From


Building the Ultimate Back: Course Review

Every Day You Must Do This!


Is your mobility affecting your movement potential?

Dr. Andreo Spina has me intrigued with his programs named under “Functional Anatomy Systems.”  I have heard great things about his courses from colleagues and this past weekend I attended the Functional Range Mobility Specialist Certification (FRC) in San Diego. There were lots of take-aways and “ah-ha” moments but this really added a new layer to learning and thinking about movement, mobility, and stability that makes sense to me in my training world.

So, there is good news to share if you are looking for some answers as to why your body isn’t functioning the way it should be. From an anatomical standpoint, Dr. Spina suggests that the goal of the FRC is to make you a better human.

What are your goals?

Can you achieve them with the body you have without sustaining injury or re-injury?

Can this system give you what you want your body to do?

Can a system based on scientific methods allow you to acquire and maintain functional mobility, articular resilience, health, and longevity?


Every Day You Must Do This…..

Dr. Spina suggests that every day you need to take care of your joints through a system of “Controlled Articular Rotations.” This means moving your joints actively through your limits. From head to toe, or toe to head, I mean as many joints as possible!

If you find pinch points or limited range in a joint you probably have joint limitations and/or restrictions of other connective tissues that are being held back by your central nervous system (CNS). The brain and your central nervous system control your limits and decide if the movement you are asking for is safe. “If your CNS determines that your muscles are not strong enough to control in a particular range then it will not allow you to function in that range,” states Dr. Spina. Our body develops compensatory movements and strategies when we don’t keep things healthy. Through time, injury, history (with sport and environment) our bodies don’t “Work nice!”, he states.

After that, the FRC system dives into what I will sum up as, “Way more than stretching!” His research and years of work practiced give you “Functional Mobility.” Defined as the ability to actively achieve a range of motion to reach your fullest movement potential. Using tension, breathe, and progressive and regressive movements to alter tissue and teach the nervous system it’s ok to let go and open up.

Is this just what you needed to hear? Are you thinking like me “Just how long is this going to take?” Well, how long have you not been doing what you were naturally selected to do? Dr. Spina delves into his evolutionary perspective on health and reminds me that it’s taken 600 years to get to where we are today. The further you stray from the hunter and gatherer lifestyle the further you jeopardize your health.

So in his words, “On a daily basis how do you compensate for not doing what you were selected to do?”

His daily recommendations take 10 minutes minimum once learned.  I found myself asking him for suggestions on how to convince my clients to be compliant. “If they don’t do it, I tell them not to come back!”, “Do they own a shoulder?”, Spina asks me in return. It reminded me of a conversation I had last month with one of my clients:

Me: “Don’t pay for good advice and not take it!”

Client: “But I’m so good at this, as evidenced by the many years of unfailingly doing just that. Jesting aside, I understand. I’ll put the effort in.”

Me: “Great! It takes work to get results!”

Although it’s not practical to give you the whole program here I will say the take away can be summed up in pure movement. Own your joints and don’t let up on our most natural anti-inflammatory: movement.  Let movement rule you, not restricted movement. The work needed to acquire greater functional mobility is definitely going to take longer than 10 minutes a day. That said there is nothing like owning a few movements to get you started. Feeling and seeing some results will encourage you to keep going. It goes back to your goals and asking yourself how important this investment is to reach them.


Keep moving!

What is neutral and perfect posture, and who decided this? Let’s just try and get your joints to function. Do you own your hips? Dr. Spina suggests that if you lack internal rotation of your hips (and shoulders) it’s as good as an MRI telling you that you don’t. Exploring new ranges in a controlled safe environment with small challenges will get them back in action. Remember that once you had movement and it was yours to lose. No matter what age you are this is meant for you because age is no excuse.

In life, we get injured and often after recovering from injury we go right back to what we were doing that got us there in the first place. If you think about this it makes sense as to why you have another injury in the same place, your first injury being the biggest predictor of your next injury. It doesn’t have to be this way, and that’s why you must train to recover from injury and allow your body to adapt to loads that are applied to promote strength. Starting at bodyweight and then adding challenges with bands or equipment over time will respect the principles of training.  The body adapts to the imposed demands we place on it so to bullet proof yourself you need to acquire more capacity than any load you put on it. This makes training the road to prevention.

Challenging your body to be strong enough to move well, avoid injury and pain is going to have benefits across the health spectrum. A closing note would be to pick up on a running joke that Dr. Spina carried through the weekend. Be careful you don’t catch diabetes, arthritis, metabolic syndrome, and many more ailments by keeping yourself moving every day. Stay ahead of problems by moving every day – “Every Damn Day” he says, and I agree!

Written by: Sheila Hamilton Sept 2017


Click here to listen to Sheila discuss this topic with Jon McComb on the “Fitness Segment,” which airs live every Thursday at 9:05 am CKNW 980am radio.


S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G What and Why?

Notes and handout from my FRC Course.

Dr. Andreo A. Spina

Dr. Spina holds a Bachelor of Kinesiology degree from McMaster University. He later graduated with summa cum laude and clinic honors from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College as a Doctor of Chiropractic.  He then completed a two-year post-graduate fellowship in Sports Sciences. He is the creator of the Functional Range Release (FR)® soft tissue management system, the Functional Range Conditioning (FRC)® mobility development system, and the Kinstretch™ method of movement stretching that are currently used by practitioners world wide as well as a number of professional sports organizations, athletes, and performers. He is a published author, and international speaker on the topics of joint health, movement and mobility development, sports performance, and injury management.

Why didn’t I know this about Ovarian Cancer?


Because Ovarian Cancer is a difficult one to know about.

It’s officially “Ovarian Cancer Awareness” month also to note September 24th kicks off Active Aging Week, created by the International Council on Active Aging® (ICAA) so there’s no shortage of health-related matters to think about! More on aging in the weeks to come as today the information about Ovarian Cancer is one we need to share.

There are so many things to know about cancer and then when you get specific to one type things really get confusing. I know that the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer overlap with many of the complaints women experience with regular menstruation and menopause. But I never connected complaints that overlap easily with “life” like stresses like fatigue, upset stomach, constipation, bloating, and back pain.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth deadliest cancer for women in Canada. Roughly 2,500 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer per year, and for over half of those women, the cancer will be fatal. Only 15% of ovarian cancers are diagnosed at stage 1. “This is incredibly significant because this infrequency of early diagnoses is what makes ovarian cancer so deadly,” writes Caitlin Hoff from in her emails to me.

What is it?

Ovarian cancer starts in the cells of the ovary. A cancerous (malignant) tumor is a group of cells that can grow into and destroy nearby tissue. It can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Cancerous ovarian tumors are grouped by the type of cells that the cancer starts in and there are many different types.

Why is it so hard to diagnose?

1) Female Physiology

The ovaries are the organs in a woman’s reproductive system that produce eggs (ova). There are 2 of them, and they are deep in a woman’s pelvis, on both sides of the uterus (womb), close to the ends of the fallopian tubes. The ovaries have 2 main functions. They make the female sex hormones and they produce mature eggs. The ovaries are deep within the abdomen, and when symptoms relating to the cancer are apparent, they are often misinterpreted as other ailments.

2) Subtle Symptoms

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation or menstrual changes

3) No single definitive test available

“A combination of a pelvic/rectal examination, vaginal or abdominal ultrasound, and a CA-125 blood test can often detect the cancer. There is another diagnostic tool emerging called the “Ovarian Pap Test,” which uses laparoscopy to collect cells from the ovaries and abdomen, much as a pap test collects cells from the cervix to test for cervical cancer. This test has not yet been widely accepted, but will hopefully come into practical use in the near future.” (-2)

 The best thing that women can do to protect themselves is to pay attention to their bodies, visit their gynecologist annually and listen for any unusual whispering from within. (-1)


Know What Increases Your Risk

  • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • Genetic mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • Post-menopausal
  • Increasing in age over 40
  • Obesity, or a BMI of at least 30

Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Does Talcum powder cause Ovarian Cancer? Many may recall the pharmaceutical company’s popular marketing slogan from the 1980s: “A sprinkle a day keeps odour away.” However, numerous studies over the past several decades have found a connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, raising concerns over whether these products are as safe as they were advertised.

From a consumer standpoint, it’s good to look at recent court verdicts involving ovarian cancer. You may have seen it already on our site, but we wrote a blog post about the latest court verdict linking the consumer product talcum powder (talc-based baby powder) and ovarian cancer development”, states Hoff.

In my emails with Hoff I asked if she could expand on this risk factor of genetic mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2. She explains that as far as the gene mutations go, BRCA 1 & 2 are actually named for breast cancer – BReast CAncer. They are two genes, that when mutated, can greatly increase your risk of both breast and ovarian cancer. These are hereditary mutations that doctors often use to indicate if someone may be more susceptible to breast or ovarian cancer. It’s important to know the difference between indicate and diagnose here. Not everyone with this genetic mutation will develop cancer, but a person is certainly more at risk.

Prioritizing your health is important. Seeking medical advice and advocating for yourself is needed in today’s world. Please pay attention to what your body is telling you.

You can and you should!


Written by: Sheila Hamilton September 2017

Click here to listen to Sheila discuss this topic with Jon McComb on the “Fitness Segment,” which airs live every Thursday at 9:05 am CKNW 980am radio.

It’s Never Just One Thing in Fitness and Health


Building on more than one change will get you results.

It seems I’m not alone in my quest to find the one thing that I can pin a problem or solution to. Thinking that if I can figure out that one thing then that problem will be solved.

Depending on the problem or issue at hand it would seem logical that this strategy might work or at least have some degree of success. But as much as I know (and so do you) it’s never just one thing; I still hear and see us all looking for it.

Be it something you need to add in or take away from your life with the hopes of improving things I’m here to share that it’s your commitment to consistently add in or take away several things that will impact your fitness and health goals. At no point did I say this was going to be easy. Frankly, I’m frustrated with the amount of information available that I see, hear, and read. What does one do with it all to improve their health?

If I could have, should have, or would have……just why do you do or not do?


Is there one thing is that is making you fat or keeping you from being fit?

Stop looking or blaming one thing for your failures. Even though I know this I still occasionally find myself wondering, “If I just did “X or Y” would I notice change?”

  • It’s not too much beer and wine, chocolate, chips, or muffins.
  • It’s not the fact you are wired all day long to you smart phone, computer, and then television.
  • It’s not just the hormones.
  • It’s not the desk job.
  • It’s not the fact that you don’t get enough sleep.
  • It’s not that you don’t exercise enough. How much is enough?
  • It’s not the carbs or the fat or the lack of protein.
  • It’s not that you don’t get enough cardio.

If you want to see 12 Graphs That Show Why People Get Fat then check out some excellent observations by author Kris Gunnars.

The highlights and truths:

  • People are eating more junk food than ever
  • Sugar consumption has skyrocketed
  • People gain lots of weight during the Holidays, which they never get rid of
  • The obesity epidemic started when the low-fat guidelines were published
  • Food Is Cheaper Than Ever Before
  • People are eating more vegetable oils, mostly from processed foods

The Social Environment Can Strongly Affect Calorie Intake.

Our calorie intake is higher than it’s ever been.

“It’s important to keep in mind that it is not some collective moral failure that drives the increased calorie intake,” Gunnars writes. “All behavior is driven by the underlying biology… and the way the diet and environment have changed has altered the way our brains and hormones work. In other words, these changes have caused malfunctions in the biological systems that are supposed to prevent us from getting fat.” This is the underlying reason for the increased calorie intake and weight gain, NOT a lack of willpower, as some people would have you believe.

It’s nice to have a perspective that shifts at least a little off the fact that you put the fork in your mouth and your lazy keeps you on the couch!

This got me thinking about it from a movement and exercise perspective. Why is your exercise routine not getting you fit?

The highlights and truths:

  • You do the same thing over and over.
  • Work too hard or not hard enough – intensities are not varied.
  • Exercise selection is not what you need. Isolation vs. compound exercises.
  • The quality is not there.
  • There are no periodization or recovery phases to your training.
  • You don’t nutritionally support your training.

Once you develop consistency around “one thing” build on another thing until you have created a lifestyle plan you can live with. Nutrition and exercise science is evolving. Keep reading, listening, and changing your plan to make informed decisions that move you in the right direction every day.

Building on more than one change will get you results.

You must choose what’s right for you and consistently do it. Is it easy? Not always. Is it worth it? Always Yes!

You can do it and you should!

Written by: Sheila Hamilton September 2017

Listen to Sheila discuss this topic with Jon McComb on the “Fitness Segment,” which airs live every Thursday at 9:05 am CKNW 980am radio.

Noses are for breathing: Mouths are for eating


Some info for you to inhale!

If I had only known….


We can breathe 2 to 3 times more air than we need without even knowing it. Do you breathe through your mouth?

Breathing through your mouth is contributing to what is called chronic over-breathing. Have you ever thought there could be a connection to mouth breathing and anxiety, snoring, asthma, insomnia, and obesity?

I have been promoting breath for a while but never like this. A valued client asked me if I had this book and then when I said no I received a copy from him the next week!

Although I feel I’ve been ahead of the curve on breathing and its importance to core stability and movement mechanics this book has brought to my attention that some pieces were missing. I feel like a few more dots have connected with me from reading the book in the road-map to our fitness results. I’m excited to share this with you.


Have you considered how you breathe?

Through your mouth or nose, deep or shallow, belly or cylinder, lots of volume or not? Could you be over breathing? Do you yawn or sigh a lot?

As our evolutionary environment continues to challenge our posture (Computers, smart phones, sitting, and standing) making the combination of poor breathing mechanics and forward head posture almost certain to impact your health. If this isn’t enough let’s just add the word STRESS to this mixture and see if we can all cope without feeling our elevated heart rates, blood pressure, and breathing rates go through the roof!

“How you breathe as a child determines how you look for the rest of your life.” Author of The Oxygen Advantage and TedX – Galway presenter Patrick McKeown. So from an early age it seems that about 50% of children become mouth breathers. He states “All mouth breathers develop crooked teeth.” They also have different shaped jaws and heads. Thinking about how many of our youth require braces for correcting alignment makes me cringe. One of my sons had braces for 4 years!

This information including the benefits of nasal breathing are starting to gain a lot of traction. I predict you will hear a lot more about it as the results will speak for themselves. As we apply and introduce nasal breathing (and The Oxygen Advantage principles) to ourselves, our family, and clients it will undoubtedly improve their health. The implications for some will be profound.

What we have been taught about breathing to date has been misleading in some ways. If you have had breath coaching then I ask,  “Have taken the time to consciously apply the principles?”  It seems we are really interested in this topic. It’s a little boring for you to think about for very long isn’t it? Not the magic answer you were expecting to hear? Dr. Craig Liebenson told me at his course on developing a strong back and athletic development, “If your clients aren’t breathing right – then don’t progress them.” Knowing what correct breathing is and doing it are two different things though!

Some of the age old advice we have been lead to believe will help up us actually may be rooted in the health problems we are currently experiencing.

Have you ever taken a deep breath to control stress?

“Take deep breaths to calm down” for example is a common one. McKeown point out that we need to breathe less when we are stressed not more – think volume of air to understand this.

Another example is when we are gassed for air through exertion/asthma attack we keep a big open mouth and gasp for more air hoping that it will somehow get more oxygen to a place in our body that needs it to recover/survive.

Do you wake up with a dry mouth? Do you snore or think you have sleep apnea? Do you wake up tired?

Taking in more air, breathing out more carbon dioxide, huff and puff through our mouth (over breathing rate and volume) with air that has not had the benefits that your nose has to offer. I had never really thought of the nose in this way because I didn’t have the knowledge but here you go.

The O2 needs to be delivered from the blood to the cells

If we breathe too hard we blow off too much Co2. When it’s normal and light it ensures adequate O2 into lungs and blood. It’s the balance of this that affects our PH and it’s the level of Co2 that triggers us to breathe. McKeown suggests we have become intolerant to high Co2 levels and a lot of his exercises involve breath holds of various durations as well as nasal breathing.



Benefits of breathing through the nose:

  • Nose breathing gets 5-15% more oxygen update than mouth breathers
  • Nasal breathing warms and humidifies incoming air.
  • Nasal breathing removes a significant number of bacteria and germs from the air you breathe in.
  • The nose is a reservoir for Nitric oxide. This gas is released from the paranasal sinuses and is essential for good health. It sterilizes the incoming air, opens airways (natural bronchodilator) and enhances oxygen uptake in the blood among other things.
  • Nasal breathing during exercise allows you to keep your work intensity great enough to produce an aerobic training effect based on hearth rate and Vo2 max studies.

Do you have allergies, asthma, or exercise induced asthma?

Mouth breathing? There is science to back this up. Asthma currently has 16 clinical trials going on that are showing good results. (Links in the references section.)

Have you noticed your attention span isn’t what it used to be?

Our attention span is reducing – stress and anxiety is the inability to turn off thought. We had an average of 8 seconds 2012! That’s not a lot. Slow down your breath and your mind will follow.

Do you drink enough water and yet seem to be dehydrated?

Adults breathe more than 14,000 liters of air per day, requiring more than 680 grams of water, approximately 20% of our daily water intake.

Do you or someone you know have sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnea?

Do they breathe through their mouth?

Do you want to perform better in sport?

Does a healthy cardiovascular system appeal to you? Some of the breathing exercise can match the benefits of high altitude training.

Recovering from injury or surgery?

Don’t worry as a lot of the exercises can be done while lying of sitting.


How should we be breathing?

“Soft, light, nasal, and diaphragmatic,” states McKeown. Is it really that easy?

My 2 big takeaways from The Oxygen Advantage are:

#1 The volume of air we breathe is too large.

#2 Breathing through the nose has many more benefits than breathing through the mouth.

And #1 can be controlled by #2 – So just breathe through your nose to get started.

We need to breath less not more so make the nose is the first step. The awareness is not out there – we need a shift in awareness about the importance of this. How you breathe during the day translates into how you breathe in exercise and sleep. So start with some conscious awareness.

I hope you can see how I feel I have connected some dots with this information. The answers to a lot of these questions lead to the same result. Take notice of how much you are breathing through your nose. Try to breathe through your nose more. There is a discomfort period initially if it’s new to you. Stick with it and see how over time it becomes easier.

 Your nose is not just two holes in your face anymore. Start using it differently today!

You can and you should!

Written by: Sheila Hamilton September 2017

Listen to Sheila discuss this topic with Drex on the Jon McComb show CKNW 980 am. Listen live every thursday at 9:05 am. Download the radioplayer app so you can listen on your phone!


The Oxygen Advantage: Patrick McKeown Copyright 2015

Breathing pattern and head posture: changes in craniocervical angles.

Our study confirms that the oral breathing modifies head position. The significant increase of the craniocervical angles NSL/OPT and NSL/CVT in patients with this altered breathing pattern suggests an elevation of the head and a greater extension of the head compared with the cervical spine.
Minerva Stomatol. 2015 Apr; 64(2):59-74

Download for all the Science behind this topic:


The Nasal Cavity

The Vancouver Triathlon: a Multi-sport Event


Ever thought of participating in a multi-sport event?

The Vancouver Triathlon is Monday, September 4th, and this week I had a special guest contributing to the blog content and joining me on the Jon McComb show live. Listen here if you missed it. Tune in every Thursday at 9:05 am (CKNW Radio 980 am  – Listen in on your phone: radioplayer is the app you need.)

Ryan Hill is a registered physiotherapist and athlete who is the director of the Allan McGavin Sports Medicine Clinic in North Vancouver. He is a trusted colleague of mine and I’m happy to have him share some of his knowledge nuggets with us. A few weeks ago Simi Sara asked me to explain what “dry needling” was and I responded by saying, “Let me get a physiotherapist to explain that as it’s not in my scope of practice!”

Ryan has done some dry needling on me in the past and he also is participating this weekend in the Vancouver Triathlon so I thought this was a great time to have his input on the fitness segment. He has participated in 6 olympic distance Triathlons, 4 half distance Triathlons, and 2 Ironmans. Wow! Check out his picture below from 2013!

RYAN HILL 2013 Ironman Canada (in Whistler, BC) His best finish!!



Vancouver Triathlon: Swim, Bike, and Run

So if you like multi tasking perhaps you might like to try a multi-sport event. I have to admit I have not tried one mostly because I fear the open swim might be the end of me. Not to mention the crowds, and last but not least the technical skill needed for not just one but three disciplines. Like the cartoon above I can think of many multiple things that I would rather be doing than an Olympic distance event!

After interviewing Ryan and hearing about the benefits and challenges of not only the event itself but the training involved I have to admit that I’m intrigued. “Never say never,” I say. Because I’m all about moving your body as much as possible doing something you enjoy then I encourage you to take a look at participating in a multi-sport event. You just might see me in a few years!

What are the Challenges and Benefits of training for a triathlon?

Hill cites time management as the number one challenge. Some schedule modifications for not just you but your significant others may be needed! Also, the aerobic capacity is different for each event so they are trained differently thus requiring a tight schedule to get it all in and be prepared for race day. You may have varied levels of fitness and skill in each discipline. Balancing your training and seeking out skilled coaches is important to improve performance and prevent repetitive strain injuries from developing. The cross training aspect is also a benefit as you as less likely to develop injuries from over doing just one sport when you are training for three different ones!

Tips from this Pro if you are Participating in a Triathlon:

Hill states that organization is the key for a successful event. Ensure you have all your gear and your hydration/nutrition requirements ready. You will be given a spot in the transition area where you can keep your stuff and this is where you go between disciplines to change.

First timers need to work on staying calm and relaxed so you can enjoy the event you have trained for.

Have you changed your nutrition for your upcoming Triathlon Ryan?

Hill admits to having consumed a lot more calories to keep up with the demands of his training. As his energy output has increased he has increased his energy input! Extra whole grains, including some bread he made himself as well as adhering to a more plant based nutrition plan lately, has covered off his energy needs adequately.

What do you see from a physiotherapist’s perspective from multi-sport athletes?

Ryan explains to me that because of the three disciplines in Triathlon he sometimes sees injuries developing because of training on pre-existing history that hasn’t been fully addressed. Also, training errors, such as over training and imbalanced programming can play a role in what is happening in the body and its underlying biomechanics.

Swimming often reveals shoulder pathology where cycling holds a myriad of potential dysfunctions in the upper back and neck, as well the hips and knees.  He suggests “Staying on top of issues as they arise and having the patience to dial back your training plan and intensity if needed. Here’s a good spot for me to plug a movement assessment and have a professional train you, and/or make and teach you a personalized training program. Healthy movement is essential for life and investing in it for yourself is an awesome long term goal!

Dry Needling Revealed: Finally….

IMS: Intra Muscular Stimulation or dry needling

“It’s a tool that physiotherapists use where they insert a sterile needle into a knot in over-worked or over-activated muscles”, states Hill. Some people say no to this part of treatment, some get addicted to it (5% he suggests), and others endure it to get the results they desire!

Taken from the UBC Gunn IMS website:

It was developed by Dr. Chan Gunn while he was a physician at the Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia in the 70’s, where he investigated the large number of mysteriously stubborn cases after frustration with the ineffective modalities at his disposal. The treatment, which utilizes acupuncture needles because they are the thinnest implements available that are designed to penetrate deep within muscle tissue, specifically targets injured muscles that have contracted and become shortened from distress.

The treatment involves dry needling of affected areas of the body without injecting any substance. The needle sites can be at the epicenter of taut, tender muscle bands, or they can be near the spine where the nerve root may have become irritated and supersensitive. Penetration of a normal muscle is painless; however, a shortened, supersensitive muscle will ‘grasp’ the needle in what can be described as a cramping sensation. The result is threefold. One, a stretch receptor in the muscle is stimulated, producing a reflex relaxation (lengthening). Two, the needle also causes a small injury that draws blood to the area, initiating the natural healing process. Three, the treatment creates an electrical potential in the muscle to make the nerve function normally again. The needle used in IMS, by stimulating muscle spindles, essentially becomes a specific and unique tool for the diagnosis of Neuropathic Muscle Pain.

Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS) is treatment of myofascial pain syndromes (chronic pain conditions that occur in the musculoskeletal system when there is no obvious sign of injury or inflammation).

The goal of treatment is to release muscle shortening, which can be pressing on and irritating a nerve. Supersensitive areas can be desensitized, and the persistent pull of shortened muscles can be released. IMS is very effective for releasing shortened muscles under contracture, thereby causing mechanical pain from muscle pull. IMS, in effect, treats the underlying neuropathic condition that causes the pain.

As mentioned above I have been treated with IMS and had significant results after a few treatments. I can say it feels weird – not painful but twitchy and uncomfortable. I would do it again if I found myself in need, but I know Ryan would join me in saying “Do your daily body maintenance!!!” Moving well sometimes needs a little extra boost, and that’s what a physiotherapist can help you with. Whether it’s after an injury, aging, or posture related, I suggest you seek help for your movement impairments so nothing stands between you and your fitness results!

You can do it and you should! Wishing you a great event Ryan Hill!



Written by: Sheila Hamilton August 2017


Meat, Muscles, and Drex….The son of a butcher.

Interview with Ryan Hill: Thanks for your time Ryan!

Registered Physiotherapist, Sport Physiotherapist Candidate, FMS Certified

Clinic Director
12-1225 East Keith Rd, North Vancouver, BC, V7J 1J3
T 604.904.6556 | F 604.904.6558


Meat, Muscles, and Drex….The son of a butcher.


"We can't afford not to change the way we eat."


Do you eat too much meat?

This is not only a question I’m asking you but I ask myself a lot! Raised on meat and potatoes by two Scottish immigrants I have to say that beef was my father’s favorite meal. It wasn’t,  “What kind of beef shall we have this week?” It was more like every other day!

I admit to avoiding the shows on Netflix and the You Tube clips for fear they will indeed turn me off my beloved “Steak Saturday”. That said, I can tell you that the information supporting less animal protein is compelling. If we need the validation of the health and climate change benefits of this dietary change then see the resources below.

I have been among those that perceive plant based diets (vegetarian and vegan) to be extreme and difficult to follow. I’m able to share the resources with you here as well as my personal experiences as I attempt to change my own nutrition. If we can’t afford “not to change our nutrition” on so many levels  (Human Health, Environmental, and Animal themselves) then share with me what it looks and tastes like to you so we can all move ahead.

This has my attention: “In a Comprehensive Review of the Literature Supporting Recommendations From the Canadian Diabetes Association for the Use of a Plant-Based Diet for Management of Type 2 Diabetes,” is states that plant based diets (PBDs) are among the recommended dietary patterns to be used in medical nutrition therapy for persons with type 2 diabetes.

Plant Based Diet

Definition: A healthy, plant-based diet aims to maximize consumption of nutrient-dense plant foods while minimizing processed foods, oils, and animal foods (including dairy products and eggs). It encourages lots of vegetables (cooked or raw), fruits, beans, peas, lentils, soybeans, seeds, and nuts (in smaller amounts) and is generally low fat.8 Leading proponents in the field have varying opinions as to what comprises the optimal plant-based diet.

More from another paper, “Analysis and evaluation of the health and climate change co-benefits of dietary change”:

The choices we make about the food we eat affect our health and have major ramifications for the state of the environment. The food system is responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (1, of which up to 80% are associated with livestock production (2, 3). The aggregate dietary decisions we make thus have a large influence on climate change. High consumption of red and processed meat and low consumption of fruits and vegetables are important diet-related risk factors contributing to substantial early mortality in most regions while over a billion people are overweight or obese (4). Without targeted dietary changes, the situation is expected to worsen as a growing and more wealthy global population adopts diets resulting in more GHG emissions (5) and that increase the health burden from chronic, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) associated with high body weight and unhealthy diets (6).

A global switch to diets that rely less on meat and more on fruit and vegetables could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds, and lead to healthcare-related savings. It could also avoid climate-related damages of $1.5 trillion (US), Oxford Martin School researchers have found.

Lead author Dr Marco Springmann, of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, said: ‘What we eat greatly influences our personal health and the global environment. Imbalanced diets, such as diets low in fruits and vegetables, and high in red and processed meat, are responsible for the greatest health burden globally and in most regions. At the same time the food system is also responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions, and therefore a major driver of climate change.’ (-1)

Looking at the reasons why I want to eat a more plant based diet, and less meat include factors that have influence way beyond my specific health goals. Here are a few:

#1 Human Health: This means not only your own health, but your families, and future generations. Associations with eating less meat with decreased incidence of some cancers, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and stroke.

#2 Environment and Climate Change: Arguments for the fact that global crops are fed to slaughtered animals, while 1 billion humans starve. Animal agriculture is responsible for for a large percentage of greenhouse gas emissions.

Eating less meat will reduce Earth’s heat

#3 For the Animals: The ethical treatment of farm animals is a hot topic in the news. Also, slaughterhouse work is dangerous and workers can suffer PTSD.

Looking a meat consumption is only one piece of the puzzle. We need to reduce red meat consumption which includes all meat from mammals like cow, pork, beef, and lamb. We also need to increase our consumption of fruit and vegetables and decrease overall calories leading to less overweight and obesity.

Ideas to scale meat back

  • Understand the processed vs non-processed and start by eliminating processed.
  • Look for meats that are organic and free-range, grass fed.
  • Plan meals that contain no animal protein in your week. Start with on a day like “Meatless Mondays,” and progress from there.
  • Look for recipes that appeal and satisfy your taste buds!

‘Putting a dollar value on good health and the environment is a sensitive issue,’ said Dr Springmann. ‘Yet, our results indicate that dietary changes could have large benefits to society, and the value of those benefits makes a strong case for increased public and private spending on programs aimed to achieve healthier and more environmentally sustainable diets.’ (-1/2)


If you tuned into my interview with Drex last week you will know we shook hands on him reaching 10-15 chins by the end of the year! Unless Drex nutritionally supports himself with his quest I feel he will be challenged to reach this goal. He also has to train the movement with quality in order to get the quantity he aspires to.

I’m going to give Drex a training tip I was given myself from Dr. Stuart McGill a few years ago. It’s that to reach this goal he must improve his quality and complete as many sets of 2 chin-ups throughout the week as he can.

I keep mentioning quality so I asked my son to demonstrate a few tips to get Drex started!

Chin Ups are an easy exercise to train incorrectly and in fact one of the hardest movement patterns to master. This is why many can’t pull their own chin above the bar safely without performing some movement errors. Technically if palms face in we call it a chin-up, and if the palms face out we call it and pull-up.


Common errors I see when watching clients execute chin-ups:

  • Head and chin poke – ugly to see and bad for your neck!!!! We are trying to correct forward head posture not drive into it!!
  • Elevating/Shrugging the shoulders
  • Breaking their core connection by arching the back – this causes extension stress on the spine.
  • Crossing the ankles and bending the knees – this breaks the strength of your whole movement chain!

 OK Drex, I challenge you to send me a video of your chin-ups so I can coach some improvements if needed! Let’s do this 10-15!

So a little spin on meat and muscles today. I’m interested in your feedback. Are you on-board to reduce your meat consumption and do really great chin-ups?

Send me your recipes! We can do this!

Listen to Sheila discuss this topic with Drex on the Jon McComb show CKNW 980 am. Listen live every thursday at 9:05 am. Download the radioplayer app so you can listen on your phone!

Written by: Sheila Hamilton August 2017

it’s time! Summer Q and A with Drex!


Did We Make New Year's Resolutions or not, last time we met Drex?

Whether you are a “Make a New Year’s Resolution” person or not, the fact is that I last was interviewed by Drex over half a year ago! I wonder if you have improved anything in your health and fitness since then.  If you were hoping to make some changes and did then “Good Job!” to you. But if you needed to listen to this show as a reminder to kick start some changes before the summer ends, and 2017 is in the books then listen up as I’ve got some good information to share.

Here are some questions and answers that I was hoping Drex would ask me. If I get a chance I hope to ask him a few myself! What answers do you have to share with us?

#1 Why Is Nutrition Science So Confusing?

Dr. John Berardi, Ph.D. gives us 9 reasons eating well isn’t as straightforward as we’d like it to be. In my effort to eat the very best I can I admit frustration on many levels when there are gaps from research to reality. Even coffee, my own loved well-researched stimulant has many pros and cons. Here’s what Berardi says:

Nutrition research is still young: We continue to learn about food science and its implications on humans.

Most funding goes to disease treatment, not preventative nutrition: Most researchers would rather say, “How can we end this epidemic? then, How can we get abs?” (-1)

Where funding comes from can affect what studies find: Studies with financial conflict of interest can shape the design of the research and not accurately show the “real” results.

What you eat doesn’t affect your health right away: Do you want to be the one to eat red meat every day for 20 years to see what really happens?

You can never assume a study’s findings apply to you: The subjects could have been younger and healthier than you, or perhaps sick, ultra-fit or a different sex/species! Mice are relatively cheap and convenient to study.

If doing the research is difficult, then reporting on it is even tougher: Often those reporting exaggerate a single finding and fail to see the big picture when drawing conclusions.

#2 Are “Abs” really made in the kitchen?

“You can’t pick and choose where fat is lost from. Your body takes fat from wherever it most wants to take fat from,” said Dr. Brad Schoenfeld, director of the Human Performance Lab at New York City’s Lehman College whom I’ve heard lecture a few times myself.

“From a functional standpoint, if you don’t resistance train, your diet will result in muscle loss of about 25 per cent,” Schoenfeld said. If you lose four pounds, one pound will come from muscle, he warned. (-2)

Strength training also gives your body a metabolism boost. Your body keeps burning calories even after you’ve finished working out.

In a nutshell from Chai’s report:


  • Load up on protein
  • Don’t forget your fiber, healthy fats and complex carbs
  • Cut out processed food, fast food, and hidden sugars
  • Work Out: All kinds of cardio and strength training
  • Sleep well and keep stress levels low
  • Drink lots of water and green tea

# 3 What could be making me so hungry?

Trust WebMD to put out a slide show that drives home the fact that hunger has many facets.

Eating something high in sugar that digests and breaks down quickly in your system, and eating for the wrong reasons like stress, are both sure to add unneeded calories to your body. If your food was not nutritionally relevant, then perhaps it didn’t satisfy you in ways that it should leaving you with a desire to eat even more.

Maybe you saw an ad about ice cream or smelled fresh-baked cookies as you walked by the market’s bakery. That could be enough to make you want to eat, whether your body is hungry or not. Try to notice these triggers and then decide what you’re going to do. (-3)

Seeing or smelling something tasty does not make you eat it!  Try water first.

Other considerations worth sharing I thought:

  • Evaluate your medications as some can increase your appetite.
  • Be aware that being tired can influence your food choices, quality and quantity. So go to bed!

#4 Is your exercise routine working for you?

This really depends on what you are asking exercise to do for you. There are so many benefits to exercising but not all of them add up to weight loss or aesthetic minded goals.

 writes in The Washington Post, “Exercise does so much for you. Why won’t it make you lose weight?” The article does a good job of detailing just how much exercise is needed to create calorie deficits. A good take away from her article for me is this, “Exercise helps keep lost pounds off, but exercise alone can’t do the initial job of losing it.”

Despite the good and bad news here, keep in mind that exercise remains one of the best things you can do for yourself. It enhances health in numerous ways. It’s easy to lose sight of all the benefits when we are fixated on one aspect like the number on a scale.

Short list: Strengthens heart and lungs, reduces the risk of disease or improves existing disease outcomes, strengthens bones, elevates mood, improves sleep, reduce the risk of certain cancers, and keeps thinking and judgment sharp.

So you really need to ask yourself just what it is you want out of the exercise you do. Make a plan tailored to reach your goals and stay consistent to get your routine to work for you.