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Have You Had Your Daily Dose of Poison?
February 18, 2013


As a fitness professional, I’d like to think that I know exactly how one should structure a healthy nutrition plan. In fact, at one time I was very opinionated on this subject and felt very sure that I had a good handle on what a healthy diet should consist of.

However, what I thought was healthy years ago turns out to be detrimental to one’s health now. I believe that is partially because it took the world a while to see the accumulative effects of certain products on the human body. Also, the internet and computer age is bringing a lot of information into our living rooms and to our fingertips that was once not so easily accessible.

At any rate, I have come to find myself sitting on the complete opposite side of the fence from where I once was on many controversial nutritional topics. Now, I realize that at a glance this may make me appear to be wishy-washy or maybe even clueless as to what a person truly should eat in order to achieve weight loss or optimal health. And I admit that at times I want to throw my hands up and scream in frustration.

I’ve tried everything from vegetarianism to all things in moderation. I’ve eaten tofu, soy, low-fat and fat-free dairy, artificial sweeteners, sugar, honey, low-fat and fat-free products of all kinds, supplements, blah blah blah...only to read articles and studies later that show that instead of being good for you all of those things will, in fact, cause you to die a slow and painful death due to the hoard of diseases they will inevitably bring on.

I would like to admit that I’ve been absolutely wrong in some of the advice I’ve given in my past and am beginning to hum a whole new tune when asked certain questions about nutrition.

For instance, I used to advise my clients to switch from regular soft drinks to diet soft drinks. In my defense first and foremost, of course, I have always stressed drinking 8-10 glasses of water daily. But if they absolutely must have a soda, I thought it best to drink a diet drink. I also always advised them that most of the time low-fat was a better choice than any full-fat product. Wrong again! Trust me, I now know that whatever process is being used to suck that fat out, is far worse than eating the fat in the first place.

Also, I now realize how very, very bad refined sugar is for you in any form. The obvious problem is that refined sugar is completely devoid of any nutrition whatsoever. Refined sugar products are full of totally empty calories that have an adverse effect on your health. Despite what the corn or sugar cane growers of the world would have you believe, I want you to know right now, they are liars. All they are trying to do is make a buck and lying to consumers is there modus operandi. For a quick look at what sugar does to your body go here.

Perhaps an even more dire realization is that sugar substitutes are probably (if possible) even worse for you than sugar. Check it out here.

Aspartame, for example is so ridiculously bad for you it is downright toxic, yet it is FDA approved and people are sucking it into their bodies without even realizing how sick they are making themselves. Go here and spend a little time reading about it. Then start reading labels and run, don’t walk, from anything it is in!

As I write this newsletter, I am proud to say that I am one week into being sugar free. I decided to try a new and kind of radical approach to optimal health called the Whole30 program. You can read more about it by going to

As for me, I learned about this program through a friend of mine who just finished her 30 days on the program. The comments she was posting on Facebook were so intriguing that I checked into it. She directed me to a book that explains the premise behind the whole30 program called It Starts With Food and of course, having the hunger for knowledge about the truth behind healthy eating, I devoured the book. (Sorry about all those food puns. I couldn’t help myself.) Honestly, I found it so fascinating I couldn’t put it down.

This book is a must read if you care at all about what you are putting in your body, and if you have a desire to achieve optimal health in order to live a long and happy, healthy life. It is truly an eye-opening book, and the Whole30 program is all about forming a new relationship with food. It is not a diet. It is well-balanced nutrition plan that focuses on eating foods that make you healthy and avoiding the ones that don’t. Just let me say that sugar is only a fraction of the myriad of ways we are poisoning ourselves.

But there is good news! With a bit of effort, planning, and health-conscious changes in our present diets, we can reverse most of the effects of our poor past eating habits. This plan gives you back the power to change your life and your health. It helps you to get informed and then take responsibility for your own health through better food choices.

It’s truly exciting! There are actually hundreds and hundreds of Whole30 participants who reflect the prevention, improvement or “cure” of: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, asthma, allergies, skin conditions, PCOS, infertility, migraines, depression, bipolar disorder, heartburn, GERD, joint pain, ADD, thyroid dysfunction, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, leaky gut syndrome, Crohn’s, IBS, Celiac, diverticulitis, and ulcerative colitis.

So, I decided to do as these Whole30 peeps suggest and make myself a test subject as well. I am trying this program so that I can testify one way or the other about how I feel after kicking the following substances to the curb for 30 days:

  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Dairy
I am relatively healthy but I do have a few issues, and I am very curious to see how they respond to this radical nutrition plan. One week in and I already feel better.

So be sure and check out next month’s newsletter when I will not only bring you my results after finishing my Whole30, but I will have an interview with my aforementioned friend, complete with before and after pics (of her). Not me. I am not that brave. But thankfully she is, and she is amazing! She is a true inspiration. You will not want to miss this one, folks!

This is the part of the newsletter where I feature an exercise and give explicit instructions on its proper execution.

This month's featured exercise shows a great way to target your waistline like never before. Why not work on your six pack and cut out sugar so it will show!

Swiss Ball Side Raises
Primary Muscle Group Worked:
Oblique and core.

To see a video go here.

Preparation: Kneel sideways to the wall about a foot away from the wall with an exercise ball at your side as shown. Bend leg closest to the ball at a 90 degree angle and position your body sideways across the ball with hands just below ears. Nearly straighten the other leg and lodge it against the wall for balance.

Execution: Exhale as you bend at the torso up towards the wall as far as you can and pause and return to the straight torso position. Repeat for the desired amount of reps. Wait about 30 seconds and do your next set. When you are finished with that side don't forget to turn and do the other side.

HEREIN LIES THE CHALLENGE: The hard part about this is finding the right position. It's easy to get the ball too far under the armpit or too far under the hip. Either of those makes doing the exercise feel awkward and difficult. However, find the right spot and you just know it! It really hits the waistline like no other! This is tricky, so focus and remember practice makes perfect.

TIP: Control the speed, keep elbows flared, and body in straight Once you find the sweet spot, stay on that side until you've done all your sets before switching positions for the other side. Good luck!

Okay, peeps! This is the inspirational part of the newsletter known as the "Ponder Pond" where you're welcome to take a swim in the sweet waters of inspiration.

Today's not so sweet video is not my regular sappy or inspirational video. Instead, I decided to go ahead and drive home the point about the detrimental effects of sugar by letting you here for yourself from a doctor who knows what he is talking about and tells it like it is. I promise to return to my normal sappy ponder pond venue soon.

Be sure and check out my new blog site! Just click here to head on over and give it a read! I will be posting a new blog in the next few weeks.

Please sign up for my mailing list and subscribe to my blog so that you can be informed when I post a new blog. I am a believer in less is more so don't worry about being inundated with posts telling you every time I had a snack or a new thought. On the other hand, I hope you find the wait between posts worthwhile as I plan to speak directly from my "writing" soul and I look greatly forward to it.


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Thanks so much for subscribing to this newsletter and for reading it and for your support. Our relationship is reciprocal as I live and learn from all that happens in my life, just as you live and learn through yours. We are truly in this together, and I empathize with your challenges as I do my own. I promise to hang in there and learn and grow along with you, and I hope that sharing through my writing maybe helps you a smidge. If it does, that is my payback. It is why I continue to do what I do.

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.

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From my heart to your health,

Linda Burke, CPT

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