Extreme Newsletter—Diet and fitness tips, recipes, and motivation

Issue #038 07/20/10 Do the Right Thing!

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Doing the Right Thing—for the Right Reasons

By Tony Horton, creator of P90X®

We have become the United States of Quick Fixes.

Why are we so addicted to shortcuts, tricks, and magic potions? Far too many people in this country live in some kind of wannabe fantasyland. We're trying to keep up with the Joneses without working as hard as they do. This bigger, badder, and faster world doesn't give us an opportunity to stop and look at real and authentic ways to achieve greatness.

Tony Canoeing with Others in the Ocean

How many people have you talked to about Power 90® who, when they find out they have to exercise and eat right say, "Forget it!" There are millions of people in this country who have absolutely no clue that you have to work hard, take risks, and be willing to fail over and over again to earn what's worth having. Hard work, risk, and failure . . . "Forget it!"

This is a very sad commentary that reveals what we've become in this country. We have the best of the best in the U.S. of A., but we hold the record for the highest percentage of fat people. Why do we reach for drugs, alcohol, sex, food, lies, blame, anger, hate, guilt, and self-pity far more often than power, courage, discipline, forgiveness, wisdom, and self-reliance? We've become a bunch of crybabies, filled with excuses, blaming everyone else for our problems!

The freedoms and conveniences we now enjoy were fought for by men and women who didn't think twice when it came to working hard, taking risks, and failing over and over again. This generation's selfish, lethargic, "woe-is-me" mentality is creating a country filled with folks who live in a constant state of quiet desperation. Our ancestors worked very hard to create a world with less stress and strife. So why are we more stressed out than ever?

The pendulum has swung way too far in the wrong direction. It's time to stop all the bitching and moaning and wanting, and the just wishing and hoping and dreaming things will change. We need to start living in the real world and begin to take some responsibility for what goes on in our lives. It's time to start exploring and searching and devoting and sharing and growing and working for what you want in this world.

It's really a matter of right and wrong. We know the difference between the two, but we still fail to behave in ways that allow us to be great human beings.

Right Wrong
Work out  Don't work out
Eat healthy  Eat junk
Fail and try again  Fail and quit
Persevere  Blow it off
Forgive yourself  Blame others
Listen  Complain
Be kind  Be right (all the time)
Find out what you love Ignore your greatness

This is a short list, but I think you get the point.

Happy WomanThe list on the right will lead you down the road of endless short-lived pleasures that result in lifelong pain, fear, and sadness. The list on the left (which can be hard at first) will open you up to a world filled with happiness, joy, and fulfillment.

You might want to ask yourself how history will see you after you're gone. If you don't like the answer today, then it might be time to do the right thing.

Tony H.

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Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards) in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, July 26, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope.

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Featuring: Tony Horton, Shaun T, Debbie Siebers, and Chalene Johnson—How Do You Want It?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)—MAX Interval Training
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Get ready for the HOT new cardio conditioning program from Chalene Johnson. Her HIIT workouts and fat-melting Fire Drills will burn up to 9x more fat and calories than traditional cardio in less time.

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Shaun T'll make you dig deep if you want to complete the hardest workout ever put on DVD. Long bursts of maximum-intensity workouts with short periods of rest burn up to 1,000 calories an hour for an INSANE body in just 60 days.

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Total Body Shaping—Fit in a Hurry
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Reshape your body in just 6 weeks with Debbie Siebers' exclusive Slim Training® technique combining fat-burning cardio with light resistance moves for a slim, sculpted body.

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No time to work out? Think again. Tony Horton's Super Stacking Technique packs his most effective moves into 10-minute workouts. It's like multitasking for your muscles!

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Consult your physician and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program or using any supplement or meal replacement product.

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The ABCs of IBS

By Omar Shamout

As many as 20 percent of Americans suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). While this painful condition technically just affects the digestive tract, its impact can reach far beyond simple discomfort, actually forcing people to change the way they live. IBS is a condition that's hard to diagnose, and because the frequency and intensity of IBS symptoms can fluctuate, many sufferers aren't even aware they have it. Fortunately, if you do suffer from IBS, changing the way you live can be easier than you think. It might even lead to a healthier and more active lifestyle overall.

Woman with Stomach in Knots

What is IBS and how is it diagnosed?

IBS is a disorder of the intestines that's diagnosed more by what it isn't than by what it is. Although IBS shares symptoms with a variety of other conditions, including pain, bloating, cramping, diarrhea and/or constipation, the good news is that IBS doesn't worsen over time, nor does it contribute to more serious diseases of the digestive tract, like cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.

For sufferers of IBS, like so many types of diseases and disorders that result in chronic pain, just getting a proper diagnosis can be a huge hurdle. Many patients have described having had their symptoms dismissed as nothing to worry about. This is due in part to IBS being a condition that's functional, rather than structural, biochemical, or infectious. What this means is that it's difficult for doctors to identify IBS via a test, X-ray, or surgery in the same way they can identify an injury, inflammation, or infection. While this is problematic for diagnoses, it's good news in the sense that IBS is less serious than conditions such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, or inflammatory bowel disease, which cause physical damage to the body's organs. The only real way to diagnose IBS properly is by describing the symptoms to your doctor. According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common symptoms of IBS are:

  1. Abdominal pain or cramping
  2. Bloating
  3. Gas (flatulence)
  4. Diarrhea or constipation—sometimes alternating bouts of constipation and diarrhea
  5. Mucus in the stool

These symptoms have to present for 12 weeks or more in order for a medical professional to make an accurate diagnosis of IBS. And if they don't, it's up to you to be an advocate for your own health care, and speak up if you feel something is wrong.

Trigger foods

Tortilla ChipsIBS is a very personal problem. No two people have identical trigger foods that cause symptoms to start. While particular foods vary, the most common offenders are high-fat foods and insoluble (or high-residue) fiber. This means meat (especially red meat), dairy products, leafy green vegetables, fruit skins, whole wheat, and anything fried. Caffeine and carbonated drinks are also dangerous. Nicotine and alcohol wreak havoc on the digestive tract, so IBS sufferers should be wary of these, particularly in social situations. Unfortunately, insoluble fiber is a key component of a heart-healthy diet, so the trick is learning how to manage your intake. Luckily, many of the same techniques that aid digestion for IBS sufferers are also highly recommended methods to regulating your metabolism and keeping your blood sugar in check.

Digestion tips

  1. Eat small portions, often, throughout the day. This way, your digestive tract won't be overwhelmed. The emptier your stomach is, the less likely it is to get irritated.
  2. Start meals off with soluble fiber. This includes foods like rice, pasta, oatmeal, quinoa, potatoes, carrots, yams, beets, and barley. Soluble-fiber foods dissolve in water and are naturally easier to digest, because they pass through the system more quickly. This is especially important if you know you'll be eating a trigger food with your meal.
  3. Take your time while eating. Chew your food thoroughly and enjoy your meal. The faster you eat, the more air you swallow, which can cause bloating and could make symptoms worse.
  4. Drink plenty of water. Drinking lots of water is important for a variety of reasons, in addition to aiding digestion.
  5. Try veggie-based products to replace meat and dairy in your diet. If you've discovered that a certain type of meat triggers your IBS more than others, try switching to a vegetarian version of it. If your store doesn't carry a large enough variety of veggie-based products, you can seek out a specialty store to find some great-tasting veggie versions of your favorite foods. There's also a plentiful variety of veggie dairy products available, which should aid your digestion considerably.
  6. SupplementsSupplements. Calcium is essential for strong bones, but it's also useful in preventing muscle contractions like those caused by IBS. Magnesium is also important because it can help to relax the colon. You can find both in Beachbody Core Cal-Mag supplements. Multivitamins like Beachbody ActiVit® can help maintain digestive regularity.

If you're looking for more information about what and how to eat when you have IBS, there are a variety of manuals and cookbooks available to provide you with tips and instructions at your local library, your neighborhood bookstore, or online.

Stress and IBS

Stress and anxiety play a huge role in the onset of IBS symptoms for a great many people. Dr. Rodger H. Murphree, author of Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression, writes:

"Research suggests that IBS patients have extra-sensitive pain receptors in the gastrointestinal tract, which may be related to low levels of serotonin. Decreased levels of serotonin may help explain why people with IBS are likely to be anxious or depressed. Studies show that 54 to 94 percent of IBS patients meet the diagnostic criteria for depression, anxiety, or panic disorder."

The type of stress that contributes to IBS can increase with major life changes like starting college or starting a new job, so it's important for IBS sufferers to seek treatment from a counselor or other medical professional who can help identify and treat psychological factors that trigger your symptoms.

Stay active

Woman and Man Doing Yoga on the BeachApart from the obvious benefit to heart health and general well-being, exercise is a great way to increase serotonin levels, and help prevent IBS attacks from occurring. Try to fit in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day. Yoga and meditation classes are also proven ways to relieve stress, which helps alleviate IBS symptoms.

Other options

If you follow these guidelines and still experience symptoms of IBS, you may want to discuss medications with your physician. A variety of medications are prescribed for IBS; your doctor will be able to decide which, if any, is best for you.

There's no denying that IBS can be a real game-changer in anyone's life, but if you follow a few simple tips and guidelines, you can help keep your symptoms in check. Just ask questions, eat healthily, and take care of your physical and mental well-being, and you'll be able to deal with your condition without letting it control your life.

References and Further Reading

  1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/irritable-bowel-syndrome/DS00106
  2. "Irritable Bowel Syndrome." Dr. Robert Murphree. http://www.treatingandbeating.com/ibs.html

Shakeology helped with the cravings and helped with the weight loss�but the most surprising thing is, I no longer have any symptoms of IBS. NONE!—Melissa T.

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Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards) in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, July 26, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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What Is P90X:MC2?

Go behind the scenes with director Mason Bendewald as he gives you a sneak peek at Tony Horton's new year of One on One workouts, with Tony testing out new routines for the next P90X®. Click below to watch!

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Recipe: Low-Cal Spinach Dip

Low-Cal Spinach Dip

The temperature is rising and the season for barbecues and picnics is in full swing. If you're looking for something to bring to the neighborhood potluck, try this healthy twist on a party classic. Delicious with crudités or (for bonus presentation points) served in a hollowed-out round loaf of whole-grain bread.

  • 10 oz. fresh baby spinach, steamed until wilted
  • 1 cup plain, fat-free yogurt, drained
  • 4 oz. fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Round loaf of whole-grain bread, hollowed out to make a bowl (optional)
  • Medium bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife

Drain and squeeze all excess water from spinach; chop and set aside. In medium bowl, stir yogurt and cream cheese together until smooth. Add spinach, Parmesan cheese, garlic, scallions, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to yogurt/cream cheese mixture and mix well; refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 2 cups (8 1/4-cup servings).

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
51 5 g 1 g 5 g 1 g 1 g

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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