Here comes another fall season, and I don't know about you guys, but this kid is ready for sweatshirts and jeans.

I've already said adios to the tan, so heck, bring on the cool weather and football, right?

However, I remember a time not so long ago when I hated the season change because I could no longer squeeze into my favorite jeans, so I had to wear these crappy baggy jeans that I hated instead. Can anyone relate out there?

Yeah, it sucks. If you are still in that boat, just remember that if you persevere you CAN get back into those jeans. The battle CAN be won. It IS doable.

Which brings me to the subject of this month's newsletter. I want to discuss and hopefully simplify the glycemic index theory for you so that you can try implementing some tips for better nutrition, improved health, and weight loss.

As many of you may or may not know, the Diet Doc (aka Joe Klemczewski) presented a lecture at Anytime Fitness in Vincennes on October 6. His whole schpeel was based on this theory. I must say it is fascinating and well worth delving into.

In fact, I believe the glycemic index is the key to healthy nutrition and subsequently optimal health and fitness. I've been reading about it lately, but this guy really spelled it out in terms you can understand. He wrote a book all about it and it sells at his site, which I've linked below.

Now, what I'd like to do is explain it to you so that you can benefit from this hugely important info too.

You see, there is much, much more at stake here, people, than the perfect body weight or fitting into our favorite clothes. This is about quality of life. This is about longevity of life. This is about preventing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, early mortality and the list goes on.

Those are just a few of the consequences of eating the way we've been eating for years. It's what happens when we eat foods that cause our blood sugar to spike and dive over long periods of time.

I am willing to wager that most of you don't even give blood sugar much thought unless maybe you are a diabetic. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've never truly dug into the subject before, but thanks to Dr. Joe, I'm digging now.

Unfortunately, it's one of those subjects that seem to go over most people’s heads because it tends to be a bit complicated. So here goes my "straightforward" attempt at cutting to the chase and shedding some light on the importance of the glycemic index/load theory or more plainly put: eating to steady your blood sugar level.

Long story short, everything you put in your mouth affects your blood sugar (glucose). GI is a measure of the effects of carbs or food on blood sugar levels. Taking it one step further, the glycemic load (GL) of a food takes how many carbs per serving into account. Choosing low GL food and eating the correct portions will enable you to keep the glucose level in a healthy range instead of the dreaded spike and dive syndrome that we need to avoid as much as possible.

Low energy and weight gain are only a tip of the iceberg when blood sugar spikes and dives. We now know EVERYBODY can damage their bodies over time with this invisible killer that can manifest into the diseases I mentioned above and worse. Gone are the days of thinking only heavy people or diabetics need to be concerned with high blood sugar. Is this beginning to hit home, people?

We have the power to create strong, fit, healthy bodies or we can pollute them with food and substances that will kill us. The only question is: Are you willing to take responsibility for your own health and make smarter choices that will influence literally every aspect of your life?

Not to panic! It's not as hard as you may think to make a few changes that will dramatically affect your blood sugar. Here are some tips you can implement immediately that will help get you started.
  • Check out for a comprehensive list of foods with the GI and GL listed and choose accordingly. GI's of 55 or below are considered low, and 70 or above are considered high. GL's of 10 or below are considered low, and 20 or above are considered high.
  • Avoid or eat sparingly: corn flakes-switch to oatmeal or any higher-fiber cereal and fruit, baked potato-switch to sweet potatoes, watermelon-watch your portions, some white rices-switch to brown rice, white bread-switch to stone ground or whole wheat, candy-avoid or eat very small amounts; these are all high GI foods.
  • Instead eat more fruit and vegetables (except potatoes and watermelon-eat these sparingly and in small portions), grainy breads, pasta, legumes, milk, products extremely low in carbohydrates like fish, eggs, meat, nuts, healthy oils; these are low GI foods.
  • In the medium GI range are foods like wheat bread, whole wheat products in general, brown rice, basmati rice, sweet potato; eat appropriate servings.
  • Keep your portions in check. Overeating even healthy, low GL food causes spikes in blood sugar too.

    For more info about the glycemic index and how to eat lower GL food, go to or check out the Diet Doc's website.

    If you're feeling super-ambitious, you can always Google the terms glycemic index and/or glycemic load and have a research blast!

    I’ll be adding a page about this fascinating subject on my website soon, so be looking for that too. This has been a very brief glimpse into a majorly important issue that we all should try to learn more about; myself included. So, this is definitely TO BE CONTINUED.

    This is the part of the newsletter where I will picture an exercise and give explicit instructions on its proper execution. This month’s exercise is one that will help your upper arms stop flapping in the wind whilst waving to a friend. It's called the the rope triceps pressdown. It is an excellent isolation exercise for shaping up those pretty arms, so without further goes a little something like this:

    Rope Triceps Pressdowns - Primary muscle group worked: Triceps.
    Note: This can also be done using a V-bar or straight bar as illustrated on my website if you click on the picture below and then click on Triceps Pressdowns.

    Starting Position: Stand, facing cable, in good body alignment (abs tight, chest up, upper back flat) with feet about hip-width apart and knees locked in a slightly bent position. Grip rope with upper arms perpendicular to the floor with elbows bent at 90 degrees. Keeping back straight, slightly bend forward.

    Execution: In a slow and controlled motion, keeping upper arms perpendicular to the floor, exhale as you push rope down, until arms are approximately straight. Contract triceps fully, without compromising form. While maintaining the controlled motion, return rope to starting position. Do not allow muscles to relax before next repetition. Choose a weight that makes the last two reps of 8-12 very challenging yet still doable in good form.

    TIP: Be sure and keep upper arms back and in throughout the entire move. In other words, keep elbows in direct alignment beneath shoulders (as if arms are glued to body), bending only at the elbow for the execution of this exercise. Also, be sure and keep wrists straight throughout.

    That's about it for this month! Until the next issue, may the wind be at your back and improved health and vitality your new reality!

    If you enjoyed this newsletter, please feel free to pay it forward to anyone you think would like it too. That is the best compliment you could ever pay me, and I appreciate it very, very much.

    And don't forget to tell everybody about where they can get all the free fitness info their heart desires and sign up for this newsletter while they are there.

    From my heart to your health,

    Linda Burke, CPT

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