Ahhhh, Magnesium. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

About two years ago, I became a “frequent flier” at our local emergency room. I’m sure I looked like a drug seeker because I would always show up with abdominal pain, they would do tests, and then tell me there was nothing wrong with me other than my colon wasn’t completely empty – that’s a nice way of saying, well, you know. I would leave absolutely frustrated, afraid that “they” had missed something, afraid for a while that I had colon cancer because all the symptoms lined up (I sometimes Google too much for my own good), but still, in pain and with a new round of prescriptions that did nothing to help.

ER

The only thing positive that came from any of those trips to the ER was one nurse telling me about magnesium citrate, which is the stuff you drink before surgery or a colonoscopy to clean out because laxatives and over-the-counter cleanse products did absolutely nothing for me. It was like my colon just went out of business. And the magnesium citrate did work, but it’s no picnic.

So when my husband suggested that I try Plexus BioCleanse, my response was “Yeah, right. Like some MLM product is going to help me. I need surgery.” But he ordered it, and I took it, and within the week, my colon was back in business! I was functioning normally! Not MY normal, but what anyone else would consider normal. To say that was a miracle would be an understatement.

So I did what I always do … I studied. I needed to understand. I knew that my colon issues were particularly bad because I have what’s called intestinal malrotation, which means that what’s on the left in your body is on the right in mine, and vice versa. I found this out when I had lower right abdominal pain several years ago, and we were all surprised to find that my appendix isn’t even on the right side … it’s on the left. Weird, huh. I also had colon polyps removed in my 30s. So I’m kind of on the “I’m a mess” end of the spectrum, and if BioCleanse works for me, I feel quite confident that it will work for pretty much anyone.

Back to my studying, though … I already knew that I had systemic inflammation, although I didn’t know why. I knew that I had a jacked up colon, and I knew part of the why, but not all of it. As it turns out, all these things were coming from something very new agey sounding called “candida yeast overgrowth.” We all have candida yeast; it’s the overgrowth that gets us. Now, a lot of people will immediately dismiss the possibility that they have candida yeast overgrowth because they don’t really use antibiotics much. I was one of those people … I would be given a prescription and always say, “I’ll fill it in a few days if I’m not better. I want to give my immune system a chance first, and on top of that, when the day comes that I really need antibiotics, I want them to work.” So I used very few antibiotics throughout my life. But did you know that candida yeast can be fed by things other than antibiotics? Refined carbs and sugar, alcohol, the pill, fermented foods like sauerkraut and pickles, and get this … stress can all feed candida. Not even kidding. I was a breeding ground for candida yeast to thrive and grow (and grow and grow and grow).

So I added ProBio 5 to my regimen to kill off the bad stuff and restore the good stuff in my intestine. At first, I thought it was going to be like the little scrubbing bubbles in the bathtub commercial, “We do the work … so you don’t have tooooo …” Only not quite. We do have to do a little work, like stop feeding the candida while the ProBio is trying to kill it. So when my progress came to a standstill, I started cleaning up my diet. I eliminated gluten. It was hard at first, being a bread lover and all, but considering that my pain is gone, as well as about 50 pounds, I can’t say that I miss it. And I strongly resisted the idea of even trying to go gluten-free because I didn’t think I could live without bread. The key is just to find other things you like even better, and believe me, they’re out there! I thought I was pretty worldly in my food choices. Not even close. There are so many things I’ve never even tried, so I consider it an adventure to discover all these cool sounding and cool looking foods. I’m like a foodie hipster now.

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So back to why I love magnesium, and more specifically, BioCleanse. Just like the label says, it does these things:

* Helps oxygenate the entire body

* Helps detoxify and cleanse the gastrointestinal tract and arteries

* Energizes both physically and mentally

* Helps neutralize acidic conditions that may promote pathogens

* Enhances weight loss

* Supports collagen production

* Relieves constipation

But why do these things matter so much? For starters, because 80% of your immune system resides in your gastrointestinal system, so if you don’t have a healthy GI tract, you don’t have a healthy YOU.

clean-colon

There are lots of symptoms that can be attributed to a sick gut, and these are just the 10 most common:

* Skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus)

* Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia

* Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea

* Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, lupus, psoriasis, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis

* Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD, and brain fog

* Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes

* Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression

* Vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching

* Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears

* Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings

I had almost all of those symptoms, and I had the last one in spades. I couldn’t control those cravings for long. Until I started Plexus Slim … I’m getting to that.

We all know to turn to probiotics (ProBio 5) to clean up our digestive act, but why magnesium (BioCleanse)?

Magnesium is an essential mineral, and it has many benefits that are fairly apparent, such as relaxation, improved sleep, and relief from constipation. But a habitually low intake of magnesium can really increase the risk and incidence of illness over time. Do you feel like you just get sicker and sicker with every passing year? Don’t ignore that! That’s an important sign; it’s not just a normal part of aging (and it’s also pretty ridiculous to attribute such things to aging when you’re only in your 30s, 40s, or 50s). High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and migraine headaches can all be related to low magnesium intake.

Thanks to the lifestyle habits most Americans have picked up due to being under the lash of a busy schedule and just a general habit of reaching for what’s the most convenient (read: we eat too much fast food and other junk), many people are deficient in magnesium. And those with gastrointestinal disease, type 2 diabetes, alcohol dependence, as well as older people, have an even higher risk of magnesium deficiency because of the demands their bodies already face.

ProBio 5 and BioCleanse work together to provide a solid foundation for outstanding gastrointestinal health, but if you’re fanning the flames while they’re trying to put out the fire, they can only do so much. So here’s the key to success in getting your gut healthy: Plexus Slim every single day to help control sugar and carb cravings so you can eat clean (and not fan those flames), and ProBio and BioCleanse (to put out the fire). That’s it! You got this!

big three

Less is More. Or is More Actually Less? I Don’t Know, I Just Know That You Have to Eat These Four Foods to Lose Weight

When you decide that you’re going to lose weight, what’s the first thing you think of? If you’re like most people, you’ll start thinking of all the things you won’t be able to eat. Ever again. And then you’ll probably pound your fists in the dirt and pull a carrot from the ground and sob and say something really dramatic like, “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!” And you’ll probably give up before you even get started.

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Let’s leave the drama to the Real Housewives and just relax. Of course you will have to cut some foods if you’re not eating right, but it’s not as big a deal as you think it will be. There are sugary foods and drinks that supply little to nothing in the way of nutritional value and offer you a whole load of calories in its place; there are foods that are high in fat (some healthy, some unhealthy, both also compensate you with plenty of calories); then there are the buzzword foods, such as gluten, lactose, GMOs, which everyone knows by now are big no-no’s but a lot of people don’t know why. For now, let’s just say if they’re swirling in the tornado of bad food buzzwords, you should probably avoid them.

But no matter what diet you’re on or what your lifestyle change plan may be, and no matter how different every body (and that is not a typo; I did mean that as two words: every body) is, there are certain things every body needs. And if you want to lose weight the healthy way, or more frankly stated, if you want to lose weight at all and keep it off, you have to get these four foods onto your plate and into your belly or your weight loss efforts will be for nothing. Fill up your daily personal menu with these foods first, and then you a: won’t be craving the junk so much and b: won’t have room for the junk anyway.

If you ditch these four foods, you’ll mess up your nutritional balance, and your body will try to compensate in all kinds of weird ways, none of which you’ll enjoy because sooner or later, regaining the weight will be inevitable. Case in point: When you don’t eat enough, your body fights back with a starvation response and stops giving up fat because frankly, it doesn’t know where its next meal is coming from, so that fat to your body is like those year-old ramen noodles in the back, back, back of the pantry are to a starving artist: You just have to keep them around to be safe. So no matter what type of diet or nutritional overhaul you’re considering, make sure these four foods are included in the plan. And if your diet guru tells you otherwise, well, give ‘em that sidelong look that says, “You did not just say that to me,” shake your head with an appropriate amount of theatrical dismay, and say very sweetly, “Well bless your heart,” and then hit the door and get on down the road.

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Now, let’s get to those four foods you just fired your trainer/nutritionist/doctor/whomever for … good carbs, good fats, lean protein, and fiber-rich foods.

“Good Carbs”

I always hated to label foods as “good” or “bad” because I think some counselor told me once that was an unhealthy attitude to have toward food. I seem to remember being told something along the lines of, “It’s just food. Quit being weird about it.” Something like that. Realistically, though, there really are good foods and bad foods. They just are what they are. And the “carbs are the devil” people may need to re-evaluate their position because all carbs are not alike. Your body needs “good carbs” for fuel so that it doesn’t rob Peter (your muscle) to pay Paul (your energy needs). The higher your percentage of muscle, the faster and better your metabolism will burn calories. So protect the muscle that you have, and build on it at every opportunity. Okay, I got a little sidetracked there … “good carbs” consist of fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Things that grow out of the ground, essentially. “Oh, snap!” you say. “Bread is a grain! Therefore, I can have all the bread I want!” Not so fast, slick. When’s the last time you saw a slice of white bread sprout up from the ground? How about that macaroni tree? Rule of thumb: Does it come from planet earth or does it come from the little elves that live in a tree? Learn to differentiate between whole grains and refined, processed foods (which really are the devil in my food religion). Refined and processed anything pretty much qualifies as “bad.” But since we aren’t cave people, we’ll probably have to buy things off the shelf or out of the grocer’s freezer from time to time, so just know what’s healthy and what’s unhealthy, become a maniacal label reader to weed out the bad stuff, and you’ll do just fine.

“Good Fats”

If you’re a female over the age of 20, chances are that you’ve tried a low-fat diet at some point in your life. If you’re over the age of 40, you’ve probably tried it more than once. It’s easy … you just go to the store and buy anything that says “low-fat” on the label. Right? No, no, no, no, no … The low-fat diet works for some people, but not for most people, and those who are insulin-resistant can tell you that it’s an epic fail. You know us insulin-resistant types … we’re the ones who can’t even look at food without looking like we suddenly became six months pregnant. We’re the hard cases that you can usually spot from a block away because of all that visceral fat … “apple shape” is the socially polite word for it, I believe. We’re also probably on the road to Type 2 Diabetes if we don’t change our ways. So, forget low-fat, which all too often translates into high-sugar, and let’s concentrate on “good fat,” which is not only good for your waistline, but also good for your heart health and your cholesterol levels. Remember “mono” and “poly.” Those are the two fats you want. Make a mnemonic out of it to help you remember that, such as “Everyone caught mono except Polly because she ate her healthy fats.” I know that’s lame, but it’s late, and I bet you’ll remember it anyway. How about this one: “We don’t like trans fats because they transfer fat to our thighs?” Yeah, well, anyway …

butter is bad

So where do you get these mono and poly fats? Nuts, seeds, fish (wild caught fish and shellfish are healthiest), avocados, and good choices of cooking oils, such as sunflower, walnut, olive, peanut, and sesame. There seems to be some dust-up recently about whether or not canola oil is healthy, so I’ll omit that as a recommendation for now. But I’m not going to say it’s bad, either. Mayo Clinic says, “Health concerns about canola oil are unfounded.” So if you’re concerned about the safety of canola oil, I suggest researching it until you come to a comfortable conclusion. However, just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s true! So make sure your sources are trustworthy before you make a final decision.

 “Lean Protein”

Not just any old meat will do for this important source. This is high octane fuel, baby! Protein takes its sweet time through the digestion process, keeping you satiated longer. Sated or satiated? Anyway, it makes you feel full and provides sustained energy. When you feel full and energetic, you’ll be less likely to run to the vending machines for your afternoon wake-up soda and candy bar. When shopping for meat, look for the word “lean” on the label. That’s important. Lean meats include chicken, turkey, and fish (notice how fish serves double duty as a protein source and a source of good fat? Score!) Eggs are also a great source of protein (keep an eye on that cholesterol, though), and for non-animal sources of protein, choose beans or quinoa, which is really cool to eat just so you can say out loud that you ate it. “I had keen-wah for lunch today.” There’s no way you can say that sentence and not sound totally hip and cool.

hey girl

“Fiber-Rich”

And then there’s fiber, which you never want to be caught without. It’s nature’s roto-rooter for your pipes. Without it, you’re going to be facing a major clog, and it won’t be pretty. So to keep things moving, incorporate fiber-rich whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose pretty fruits and veggies that will make a pretty plate. I love pretty food. In fact, I swear by it. Though you may be tempted to juice those fruits and veggies, be aware that while you’ll retain the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, you will lose the majority of the fiber to the compost pile—or garbage disposal, whichever way you handle your scraps after juicing. Fiber also has the same secret weapon as protein: You will feel full longer after eating fiber-rich foods, and you won’t be so tempted to pack away sugary snacks an hour after you eat. Make procuring your fruits and veggies an adventure. Go to the Farmer’s Market, grow your own … whatever makes fresh produce appealing to you, I beseech you to do it!

So the moral of this whole late-night rambling is this: The more you focus your energy on the things you MUST eat to lose weight, the less you’ll be consumed by what you MUST NOT eat. It’s a little mind trickery, but if it works, so be it. Especially with Plexus Slim to take the edge off your cravings and balance your blood glucose levels, along with ProBio 5 and BioCleanse to get your gut health back into fighting condition, you won’t want to do anything to mess things up again.

Clean eating really is easier than you think. Once you get a dose of feeling amazerful inside and out—especially when those jeans go from “uggggh, that hurts!” to “aaahhh, they’re loose,” your belly stops hurting every time you eat, your energy is smooth and even, and the words “food coma” leave your vocabulary, then you’ll start to see what feeling good really means. And you’ll want to hang on to it. It isn’t a life of deprivation that you’re facing, it’s a lifetime (and probably an even longer one, at that) of being free from food duress. Plus, your body will be primed to be a lean, mean, fat-burning machine. It just takes practice, baby steps, a few deep breaths here and there while you get the hang of it, and these four foods, and it gets much, much easier after that. Now start practicing the word “keen-wah” until it rolls off the tongue. You got this!

Four Foods to Lose Weight

Overcoming Emotional Eating

If you’re using Plexus Slim faithfully, but your eating is still out of control, you’re probably struggling with emotional eating. If you know the basics about how Plexus Slim works, then you know that its primary function is to help level out blood glucose, which brings sugar fluctuations and the cravings they cause under control. But most people are emotional eaters, too, and until you get a handle on emotional eating, you may very well struggle with food no matter what kind of diet, supplement, or other type of plan you use. Even weight loss surgery patients who have great success in the beginning can end up right back where they started due to returning to old habits such as emotional eating.

What causes emotional eating? A better question is, “What doesn’t?” Happiness, sadness, boredom, celebration, anxiety, stress, and just coping with life can all trigger emotional eating. We’re trained that way from the time our parents reward us with ice cream or dessert for a job well done or console us with comfort food when things don’t go our way. Dieting is to emotional eating what a band-aid is to a shotgun wound: It’s totally ineffective. You have to reconfigure the way you handle your feelings and the way you think about food, or you’ll be forever engaged in a losing struggle. If you’re an emotional eater, then feelings and food are intertwined. Once you separate them, you can take back control.

How do you do squash your tendencies to soothe yourself with food? Where do you start? Believe it or not, simply start with your thoughts. Let feelings be feelings, and remind yourself that they have nothing to do with food. When I was learning to meditate, I discovered Vipassana meditation. Vipassana means to see things as they really are, and this ancient technique is simply mental training to do just that: see things for what they are. Vipassana meditation teaches you to acknowledge your feelings, good or bad, and then simply allow them to pass on through. It’s that easy, and it doesn’t require special training; it just takes practice. Just as we use physical exercises to condition our bodies, you can use this technique as an exercise to develop a healthy mindset toward your feelings and food.

Most all of us have been conditioned to use food to celebrate, to console, and to nurture. In fact, eating as an ongoing accompaniment to life is so ingrained in us that there are also times when we don’t even realize we’re doing it. So try this approach to eating: Eat mindfully. Just pay attention. Don’t eat absently (munchies at your desk while you work, a bag of chips on the couch while you watch TV), but instead, when it’s time to eat, stop everything else you’re doing, and eat. Enjoy the experience. Enjoy the food. When you start to pay attention to your eating, you’ll begin to eat what you need when you need it; on the flipside, you’ll lose the urge to reach for food when you don’t really need to eat. You’ll get to know your true hunger and fullness signals again. And you’ll come to enjoy and savor your eating time rather than have it disappear into the background noise of life. Couples, families, and friends will also enjoy sharing mealtime together again. Singles may learn to enjoy their “me” time even more.

Now granted, if you’re on that runaway train of sugar and refined carb cravings, then managing your eating may be very hard. But this is what Plexus Slim was designed to do, so work with it, and let it happen! You can use Plexus Slim every single day, but if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll probably get the same results. Or … you can take advantage of the help Slim provides with cravings, make some mental adjustments, and completely change your life!Image