Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Secret Sauce to Controlling the Blood Sugar Drama

It's the perfect storm:  you slow down in the Activity Department, you eat an Unhealthy Diet, and the Tissues and Hormones in the body Experience a Communication Breakdown.
Blood Sugar Tolerance is a real issue, especially as we get older (and I will explain this as you read on).  Blood Sugar or Glucose comes from carbohydrates that we eat in our diets.  We need Carbs, just the right sources (Low-Glycemic fruits and vegetables, roots, and tubers - not packaged Crap marketed as food that makes you ride the above image).
Digestion breaks down these Carbs into individual sugar molecules that enter the bloodstream as Glucose.  The body wants to maintain a level of this Glucose in the Bloodstream, and that level is 5 grams - that's 1 teaspoon! (not much, right).  The body has to have glucose in the bloodstream, after all it's the only fuel source for the brain, and the brain needs to be working so you can survive (unless you want to live a life in Politics, I kid, I kid, HA!).  Okay, bad joke, maybe?  Anyways, The hormone Insulin, sometimes called the "Master Hormone", has the duty to regulate the glucose in the bloodstream.  It signals the muscles to take in and utilize this glucose as energy. And to an extent, both skeletal muscle tissue and the liver will take in glucose and store it in clumps known as Glycogen.  Once they have stored all they can, the glucose is transformed into Triglycerides and stored in Fat cells.  This type of stored fat is problematic as this goes on and on...... 
Something very important to catch here is the fact that Muscle Tissue is very tuned into the Insulin Hormone, it's SENSITIVE to it.  We want these two always on the same page.
A problem that comes up for us, especially as we age, is that we lose Muscle Tissue due to inactivity.  We stop moving, exerting ourselves, and challenging our muscle tissue.  For a lot of people the muscle tissue is replaced with FAT.  The muscle tissue becomes less sensitive to Insulin, the beta cells of the Pancreas in turn push more Insulin out into the blood to control the high Blood glucose levels. High Blood Glucose levels by the way can be Toxic, remember the optimal level is only 5 grams!
As this process goes on, the Beta Cells of the Liver tire out, they are overused - the communication breakdown occurs. The body can't make Insulin anymore and you've punched your ticket for Adult-Onset Diabetes (Type II).  Hopefully you catch this early and can manage it with proper diet and an exercise regimen.
2 things to point out:  It's natural as we age to lose SOME of our ability to manage blood sugar levels, the beta-cells get worn out due to years of eating sweet foods. We can help this by eating better sources of Carbohydrates in our diets and also making sure we get enough Fiber.  Fiber is dense, will satiate our appetite, and help make our Colon Healthier.  Another thing, how much fat we store above the waist-line is a key indicator on our Blood Sugar/Body relationship.  The more you have here (both men and women), the greater the risk for Diabetes.

So here's the Secret Sauce, the Keys to Take from this:

Muscle is the MOST METABOLICALLY ACTIVE tissue we have in our body.  Muscle tissue is very sensitive to the hormone Insulin.  I said earlier that inevitably as you age you lose a little glucose tolerance.  You can help this process by adding more muscle tissue, even as you age, where the opposite, losing muscle mass seems to be the norm.  Adopt a routine of Strength-building Exercise into your life.   The more muscle tissue, the more blood sugar gets stored as beneficial Glycogen and you will have the energy when you need it.   You have to keep the ratio of Muscle to Body Fat in check to avoid Diabetes.  This new exercise habit will hopefully burn some of that fat that has accumulated above the waist too.  You don't have to have the Blood Sugar Drama, and the key to controlling this potential drama is MUSCLE. 

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Hey Everyone!! I wanted to write a quick blog post since we have not put out our October newsletter yet. As you all know, Keith and I have moved and we are in the midst of a lot of changes right now. This post is basically to say...WE ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Us as people, and our work. We will both still be utilizing our Facebook pages and posting blogs here and there and we need a little time to figure some things out in a new place.  Stay tuned..we love you. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

When Sweet Is Too Sweet

Sweets.  There's no doubt, we are a society that loves sweet foods.  Food manufacturers know this, that's why it's a Billion Dollar Business.  Sweet Foods are highly addictive, lack nutrition, and alter body hormones and our blood sugar.  All these factors contribute to that situation we all hate being in- the one where we keep eating the M&Ms, the other where our hand seems to independently continue to reach back into the chips, or you eat the entire carton of ice cream.  Sugar rewrites our body chemistry, and its obviously for the worse.  Foods riddled with highly processed, man-made sugars are problematic and contribute to the major societal diseases that are commonly affecting people in our families or even you reading this:  Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and certain Cancers.  

So, what's the alternative?  The big food companies want you to believe the answer is Artificial Sweeteners.  NOT SO FAST! Those of you reading this please pay attention and take this in.  Artificial Sweeteners are not the answer or the great improvement to the sugar epidemic.  

The Book, "It Starts With Food", holds the position that these artificial sweeteners may actually be more problematic that Sugar.  Why? These sweeteners are designed to deliver a larger amount of sweetness than what can be found in nature.  The Whole 9 guys call these, "Supernormally Stimulating".  Its so sweet that the body doesn't know what to do with it.  
Take a look at these numbers:  

The BIG 3
  • Aspartame (Equal) - 200 to 300 times sweeter than Table Sugar.

Aspartame is also on the EPA's list of "potentially dangerous chemicals".  The reason, it was shown to increase cancer risks in rats.  
  • Sucralose (Splenda) - 600 times sweeter than Table Sugar.  
Sucralose has been shown to decrease levels of beneficial Gut Bacteria.
  • Saccharin (Sweet 'N Low) - 700 times sweeter than Table Sugar.
The "Bad" Gut Bacteria loves sugar.  That's a bad combo:  deplete beneficial gut bacteria and then strengthen the bad bacteria.

If you consume these sweeteners in food and drinks chronically over time, and chances are you will because they are addictive, these empty calorie sweeteners will only cause you to crave more Sweet Foods.  This will begin a bad cycle of over-eating, and it will be highly addictive, highly processed foods.  The dangerous thing is that these "Foods" will replace the nutrient-dense foods you should be eating in your diet.  

What do you do?   Answer = Eat Real Food.  Skip the man-made, processed stuff.  
If you need sweet, use real, local honey as a sweetener.  Grab some organic dates and snack on those.  
Grab some fruit and allow that to satisfy your sweet craving.  
If you have to have sugar, opt for raw, unprocessed sugar.  BUT, realize this- it will make you crave more sweet/sugar.  Be smart and evaluate your overall Goal or Desire.  

Food strips down to a biochemical level as fuel that reaches every cell in our body.  I don't care what you do, Food affects all levels of Performance.  Remember this as we all have so many important things happening day in and day out.  

As always, Jami and I are here to offer benefit to your health.  If you need specific attention from us, please reach out.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


Lady is taking it all in. : )

For the update on our move....well, we moved. We are here in St. Augustine Beach, Florida and we are brand new, starting new jobs, finding our way around and taking it all in. Thank goodness Lady likes the beach! She loves to play in the water and get her daily vitamin this is good!

We have just been here for a week so we have yet to establish any routine, familiarity or anything yet!! It's beautiful, it's what we've been working towards, it's scarier than $#!* to uproot everything you know to go somewhere to check out some opportunities and stretch yourself into growth and evolution....voluntarily. But it came down to realizing that we would have regret if we never took that chance we always dreamed about and we weren't willing to do that.: )

This time last year I was starting my FB page. I was feeling alive and inspired and I wanted to share with others things that help me to stay healthy, stay in the game of living a creative life, take lemons and make lemonade and so on. One year later, I am starting another new adventure in a new place.

I decided to do a challenge last year called A Sweat A Day. I did this because I enjoy moving and exercising with others. Alone too....but I love to move and sweat and be with friends. I thought if I enjoyed that then maybe some others do too. Even though we aren't actually together, this is a platform to tune in with some like minded peeps and share and move have a team.

Since we have moved I have not a had regular schedule for movement and it's time to take some action and create new healthy habits in this new place!!! I'll call this one A Sweat A Day Goes honor of change that we all go through.

The idea for this challenge is to have 30 focused days to find ways to stimulate movement, circulations, respiration and perspiration. This can be done in a number of ways ranging from an intense workout to a hot, steamy epsom salts bath. Ideally we want to be implementing exercise into our lives when we can so take the option of saunas or baths or whatever when you absolutely are too wiped out for working out. It's important to note that when we have not slept well, eaten well or if something else in our life is causing great emotional stress, an intense workout is not necessarily a good thing. You want to learn when to workout and when to do restorative exercise or therapies.

When you decide to do a challenge like this, inevitably your voices, habits, patterns, etc that normally get in the way of you reaching your goals will come up. These are the same voices, habits and patterns that will show up and stop you in other areas of your life as well. Just pay attention and remember that at the end of the either got it done or matter the noise in your mind or life. : )

The intention is to bring into focus, creating a healthy movement routine in your life. When you move and breathe, your mind clears, solutions to problems become known, your body releases wastes, you feel stronger, more confident and accomplished. We all know this........sometimes we need a reminder and a re-boot!!!

We will start on Thursday September 10th and end on October 9th 2015. If you'd like to join, come hang out on my FB page (Jami Lynn McCormack) and move and breathe and share the love!!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

McCormack Performance Fitness Supplementation Guide: We All Should, Especially Active Peope

Let's Face it, none of us eat a perfect diet, we are stressed, and we sometimes compound that stress with intense exercise, poor sleep, and environmental toxins we knowingly or inadvertently expose ourselves to.  I would like to keep this Guide to Supplementation basic, but that may be difficult.  All recommended supplements are great synergistically, but you can take 1 of these, 3, or all of them - You decide.  Make the judgement on what you feel you need.  Experiment.  After all, this is about you being the healthiest you can be. 

Here we go:

A Daily Multivitamin - make sure it's high-quality, make it worth the money.  You especially want this to have Vitamins C, E, and the B Vitamins.  This is taken predominantly to prevent chronic disease and detoxify the body.  A whole food vitamin is optimal as it is the most bioavailable with necessary co-factors (Garden of Life brand has some great options)

Fish Oil - 1 to 4 grams daily of a combined EPA & DHA, depending on your activity level and how much wild-caught fish you are eating weekly.  Something to consider about Dietary Fat, Fat makes up every single cell in the body.  We need good fat in our diet and supplementing with Fish Oil can improve nerve, brain, eye, heart and cardiovascular function, and reduce the inflammation process.  Fish Oil can help with joint pain, arthritis, psychological disorders, and decrease the risk of Breast Cancer and Heart Disease.  Fish Oil can also shrink Fat Cells!
(Nordic Naturals brand is a good example)

Vitamin D - Vitamin D3 is what you want, this is what we make from the sun.  The world as a whole is deficient in Vit D.  As we age, we lose the ability to manufacture.  Also, sunscreen affects our ability to convert the sun rays on our skin into Vit D3.  Take anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 IU of Vit D3 a day.  Determine how much you need.  You can have blood work done every 6 months to check your Vitamin D level.  It should range from 60 to 80 ng/ml.  (Now brand, Garden of Life- a whole food option again are a couple examples)

Protein Powder - Whey Protein is the best option.  Animal Protein is more bioavailable than plant proteins, it just is.  There are good plant based options, but Whey is the Best.  Whey contains all 20 amino acids, is the richest dietary source of Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), and is high in Cysteine.  25% of the protein in Whey is BCAAs.  Including the key one, Leucine, which is the most important amino acid for stimulating muscle protein synthesis for a stronger, faster athlete.
Back to Cysteine, it is the key building block for Glutathione, the body's master Antioxidant.
Take one scoop of protein (17 to 20 grams) for every 100 pounds of bodyweight.  (I use, but like Jay Robb Whey Protein, Blue Bonnet, Stronger Faster Healthier products too)
It can be overwhelming, go for quality products not marketing hype

Probiotics - We have good and bad bacteria in the gut.  Stress depletes our "good" bacteria. In the past, families would culture foods.  Now, you can find cultured foods- you just have to know what you're looking for.  Our modern diets and the enormous use of Antibiotics deplete the "good" bacteria.  You must replenish this in your diet.  Look for these 2 words:  Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.  This is serious:  NO GOOD BACTERIA IN THE GUT = A SUPPRESSED IMMUNE SYSTEM.

Creatine - This is a great way to improve your strength performance, enhance your ability in high-intensity, short-duration activities, and help for a rapid recovery.  Creatine is also good for muscle mass building, brain, and heart health.  Take 5 grams in 12 to 16 ounces of water, before or after training.  Creatine Monohydrate is what you should spend your money on.  Other forms haven't been studied and are hyped without merit.

BCAAs - the 3:  Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.  Bottom-line, these make you stronger and give you the ability to recover faster.  These increase Testosterone (builds up) and decrease Cortisol (breaks down).  Take 5 to 10 grams per day.

Glutamine - This is the most abundant amino acid in your Gut & Skeletal Muscle.  It does so many things:  enhances the immune system, regulates protein synthesis, stimulates Growth Hormone production, and it's a muscle-builder because it's a nitrogen donor.  Also, this is pretty cool, it builds Glycoaminoglycans (GAGs), which is food for our joints.  This is a great supplement for exercise recovery.  The more Stress in your Body, the MORE Glutamine you need.  Take 0.15 to 0.16 grams per kg of Bodyweight (I know, math).
(All Creatine, BCAAs, and Glutamine I've been using are powder form that I order from )

Another one that's not a bad idea:
Curcumin - This is the active ingredient in Tumeric and Ginger.  It can ease post-workout muscle soreness caused by oxidative stress and inflammation.  Take anywhere from 250 to 500 mgs on days you feel extremely sore or you suffer an injury.

Again, this is a large list, but you decide what will be the most optimal for your unique health and well-being.  We can recommend brands to those who are curious. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

It's Been a While....

There's my Shiva Blue : ) hearts and stars.....It's been almost a year. This month on the 28th will be a year since he went to do his job over the Rainbow Bridge. I didn't want to stop feeling the intense ..everything that I felt that day and for a while afterwards. I was afraid it would mean that I forgot him somehow and couldn't remember all that he brought to me/us. Shiva was so wild still...he didn't people please : ) although he pleased me. Letting him go reminded me to live wild and run and play and go for it. I made a promise to him and myself that I would do that from now in my life. Go For It. Whatever the IT was and even letting some ITs come and go but always checking them more letting fear be the only reason not to do something. Now it is time to feel the fear and do it they say.

On that note....I have written about Keith and I exploring a move. Something we've dreamed and talked about for so long and finally decided to go for it. We took our trip in May to Florida. East side, Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine. We had contacts to meet and wanted to feel it all out and see about it being our next destination. We were excited, nervous, in the moment, together...going for it. We were just going to see what happened if we followed some dreams, ideas, you know...inspirations. It ....was...... truly...... wonderful. We met some of the nicest people, we felt like we already lived there, it felt natural, and EASY. Everyone we met with was welcoming, encouraging, inviting, supportive...and any other good feeling word you can think of. It felt like a big YES..waiting for us to step into it.

I will fill you in on something just for some back story so that you know how I know it felt like a YES. We have been exploring for a while......mostly back West. I always thought I/we would go back West. But every time we went that way....things were not so good feeling. One trip in particular, just for details...we didn't get along at all. I mean...AT..ALL. It was awful and confusing. It wasn't even until we arrived back home we were like.."what happened?!" Well, now we know...that was a NO. : )

We kept just paying attention all along the journey and how we always felt so together and really good when we would go to Florida. It wasn't ever on our radar as a choice to move, but we had ended up taking trips there for other reasons and it was always such a great experience. So..this trip was specifically about "is this where we are being led"? YES.

I think if we could have, we would have just stayed and rolled right into it. Actually, we both wanted to but we do have a house to sell and our little black dog with white feet, Lady, to come and get to take with us.  It's been surreal. We are in the midst of the big steps now. House is on the market, looking for a place to rent for a while until we can scope out the area a little more and see where we want to live. This is truly taking a chance on us and our dreams. Nothing is making us do this. This is pure guidance, trust and creativity. It's humbling to share.

I know people do these things...take a chance in life..on life. We are not the first and won't be the last. We are looking forward to this next phase of our life together. It has made the appreciation for what we have now so much greater.

Thank you, Shiva, for your ongoing inspiration to live Wild and Free and go for it in life!! I love you and Lady says she takes good care of us! <3 and eats treats for you too.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What are you EATING??? ...and we're not talkin' about food!

Did you know that what you put on your skin, goes in? Research shows that we absorb 60% of products applied topically whether natural or chemical. These ingredients pass through the skin directly into our bloodstream. Companies are not required by law to disclose all of their ingredients on the label. These companies also do not have to prove that chemicals are safe before putting them into cleaning or body care products. The chemical industry as a whole is unregulated. In 2010, the President's Cancer Panel Report showed that there are over 80,000 chemicals commercially used in manufactured cleaning products. (both household cleaners and cosmetic products) The FDA has little control over these companies and relies upon the companies themselves to voluntarily recall a product and/or to report injuries from their use. So basically the companies have a choice on whether to do this or not. So, all this to say..we need to take responsibility for what we put on our skin. Things we clean our house with, things we wash our hands with, what we use for moisturizer, sunscreen, perfumes, etc...These chemicals being used are now being recognized as endocrine disruptors causing various health problems. One known ingredient often used in your household is triclosan. This is found in dishwashing liquids, hand soaps, and toothpaste. It is an antibacterial pesticide that commonly leads to decreased thyroid function and is restricted as a cosmetic ingredient in both Canada and Japan. Another common ingredient you'll find are paraben preservatives. They are compounds that are used in cosmetic products to increase shelf life. They can be a fragrance agent and a preservative. The issue with parabens is that in the body they mimic estrogen, known as xenoestrogens. They also act as endocrine disruptors and some people even link them to cases of breast cancers. It is the number 1 on the top 5 of the dirty dozen carcinogen list. This is only 2 of the many chemical ingredients used today. Just as we look at the lables on our foods, we need to be diligent about reading labels on our other products as well. 

My bestie and I catching some rays, slathered in coconut oil. This is the owner of Oregano Rose. 

Now for the GOOD NEWS!!!!!! Many people are aware of this issue nowadays and there are plenty of companies making safe household products and cosmetics. You can often find soaps and lotions even at your local farmer's market which is also a great way to support your community. Natural grocers such as Whole Foods, Sprouts, GreenLife,etc...carry many options to choose from. And..if you are feeling creative, there are even recipes to make your own safe and natural products.

One of  my favorite companies is called Living Libations. They are based in Canada and grow many of their own herbs and even process some of the essential oils. They offer natural beauty care and amazing natural dentistry products along with a plethora of information on why and how to use their products. Another company for body care is called Primal Life Organics. This was created by a nurse on a mission to care for herself and family naturally. These are just two options of the many out there. 

If you are local, here in Little Rock, Arkansas you can visit the Green Corner Store for some locally made options as well. 

A personal story now...I skipped out on my 6 month cleaning visits for about 2 years at the dentist. When I went back this year my hygeinest was surprised at the lack of tartar or any issues with my teeth. Floss, and homemade tooth powder by Oregano Rose in Oregon. : )

If you want to work with me on your healthy holistic lifestyle plan, email me at