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Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Announces Graduate Awards At Five Horse Shows

The Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance will present awards honoring the highest-placing TAA graduates and the TAA-accredited organizations affiliated with those horses at five Thoroughbred horse shows this fall.

The horse shows include: the New Vocations All-Thoroughbred Charity Show and T.I.P. Championships Sept. 7-9 at the Kentucky Horse Park; the Fair Hill Thoroughbred Show Sept. 22-23 at Fair Hill Natural Resources Center; the Thoroughbred Makeover Oct. 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park; the Totally Thoroughbred Horse Show Oct. 7 at Pimlico Race Course, and the Thoroughbred Holiday Classic Horse Show Dec. 8-9 at Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

The awards will include prizes for riders aboard the highest-placing TAA graduates along with cash prizes for the TAA-accredited organizations that rehomed or are in the process of retraining the affiliated highest-placing TAA grad. Prizes vary by show.

“TAA-accredited organizations have been well represented by their graduates at these five horse shows. The TAA wants to showcase those graduates and to reward the accredited organizations that are successfully transitioning horses off the racetrack and into new careers,” TAA operations consultant Stacie Clark Rogers said. “To continue to support TAA-accredited organizations’ efforts, it is our plan to explore additional awards and horse shows in the future.”

The post Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance Announces Graduate Awards At Five Horse Shows appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

Read more: paulickreport.com

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Venice Film Festival 2018: the trends from the red carpet!

Venice Film Festival 2018 is almost over (the awards ceremony will be on Saturday, September 8th) and it’s time to recall all the beautiful dresses we saw on the red carpet in these days. Festivals are not only about movies, but spotlights are all for the amazing gowns worn by actresses and top models. Venice red carpet revealed a lot about the trends we’re going to experience next season: here’s The Blonde Salad top 5!

 

Feathers, feathers, feathers! 

On the red carpet, celebrities love to surprise. And when a fashion victim like Lady Gaga is one of the most awaited celebrities at the Lido, we are sure to experience an epic fashion moment. Mission accomplished: she wore the most acclaimed dress of the latest Paris Haute Couture Week, Valentino pink pastel feathered gown.  Cate Blanchett, as well, opted for this dramatic detail for her stunning Armani Privé dress.

Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé
Lady Gaga in Valentino Haute Couture

The “red” carpet

It’s not so easy to wear red on the red carpet. But in Venice, “le rouge” had a leading role on the most daring looks. Bianca Balti stunned wearing a red ruffled skirt matched to an oversized shirt (the whole outfit was designed by Italian fast fashion chain Ovs). Dakota Johnson, in red as well, was amazing in her Dior Haute Couture gown.

Bianca Balti in Ovs
Dakota Johnson in Dior Haute Couture

Golden Goddesses

The metal trend is going to shine even in the upcoming months, and Venice red carpet is the proof. Photographers’ flashes were captured by Natalie Portman sequined evening dress, designed by Gucci: it was a golden dream! Irina Shayk was a golden goddess in her vintage Versace metal mesh dress.

Irina Shayk in Versace
Natalie Portman in Gucci

Fuchsia neon

Venice 75 red carpet was an explosion of bold and audacious colours, and fuchsia was one of the trendiest shade at the event. Naomi Watts surprised everybody with her amazing Armani Privé pink dress, while Lottie Moss opted for the same bubblegum shade on her tulle Ermanno Scervino gown.

Naomi Watts in Armani Privé
Lottie Moss in Ermanno Scervino

Nude look

Venice wasn’t only about bold shades and daring trends. Celebrities couldn’t resist to the romantic charm of nude tones, like Sara Sampaio, dressed in Armani Privé, and Emma Stone, that balanced the delicate embroideries on her Louis Vuitton gown with an ample neckline.

Sara Sampaio in Armani Privé
Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton

Venice Film Festival 2018 red carpet shined for many fabulous celebrity outfits. Discover them all in our gallery below!

Izabel Goulart in Alberta Ferretti
Tilda Swinton in Schiaparelli Haute Couture
Gabriella Wilde in Ulyana Sergeenko Couture
Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé
Mia Goth in Givenchy Haute Couture
Bruna Marquezine in Ralph & Russo Couture
Alek Wek in Calvin Klein by Appointment
Barbara Palvin in Armani Privé
Naomi Watts in Dolce & Gabbana
Chloé Sevigny in Chanel

Read more: theblondesalad.com

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Nutrition for seniors: 7 lifestyle strategies to stay strong, healthy, and independent longer.

Forgetting things, feeling incapable, grappling with loneliness, and maybe not enjoying daily life? Aging is inevitable, but these symptoms don’t have to be. Whether you’re noticing them in yourself, or coaching someone who is, here’s what you need to know about the importance of lifestyle and nutrition for seniors — plus 7 effective strategies to live not just longer, but better.

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When my grandfather’s health started to decline, a simple intervention transformed his ability to live independently.

I’ve been coaching nutrition for over 10 years, and teaching university nutrition courses for seven. I’ve seen thousands of people benefit tremendously from the health strategies I share with them.

But no transformation has been as dramatic or inspiring my grandfather’s.

A few years ago, in his early eighties, my grandfather began to forget things. He missed appointments and misplaced objects like his keys or reading glasses. His appetite decreased, and he started losing weight.

One day, he suffered a bad fall. He required hospitalization, and his confusion and disorientation worsened during his stay. It was a low point for my family.

A professional medical assessment determined that it was no longer safe for him to live independently at home. He got placed on a waiting list for a long-term care facility.

My grandpa’s diet had been poor for some time. I knew he was living mostly on canned soup, chocolate milk, and the occasional banana. Not nearly enough calories, and not a lot of nutrient-dense, whole foods.

I wondered what effect that was having on him.

So I did some detective work.

After running some blood tests, we discovered that my grandfather was very deficient in a range of B-vitamins, particularly vitamin B1, or thiamine.

The signs of thiamine deficiency?

Low appetite, fatigue, memory loss, and confusion.

I suspected that correcting these deficiencies might help my grandpa function better, so I put him on a high-quality seniors’ multivitamin, and recommended a few simple changes to his diet.

A week later, my grandfather was transformed.

His appetite increased, and he became clear-thinking and lucid. He was released from the hospital, and his medical team approved his ability to keep living independently.

My grandpa’s experience is proof of something many people aren’t aware of:

Simple nutrition and lifestyle changes can dramatically improve quality of life — even in older adults.

That’s why, in this article, we’ll explain what we know about optimal lifestyle and nutrition for seniors: how these habits affect aging; and how to implement healthy changes for yourself, clients, or loved ones.

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It’s not just the number of years you live; it’s how you live them.

Modern medicine can help us live longer, so what’s the point of eating the right foods and taking the right supplements?

Well,  we don’t want to just live longer. We want to live longer and live well.

Lifespan: 
How long you live

Healthspan: 
How well you live

When we talk about longevity, most of us don’t dream of living for a thousand years in a cryo-chamber hooked up to a bunch of wires that artificially maintain our basic functions.

In addition to a long lifespan, we also want a long healthspan — a high quality of life for as long as possible — a state that allows us to travel and enjoy our retirement, to run around with our grandchildren without aches and pains, and to generally enjoy life feeling good in our bodies, minds, and hearts.

Good nutrition and lifestyle habits are our best tools to improve healthspan.

And while these habits can have a major effect on healthspan if you start them young, making nutrition and lifestyle changes can make a difference even after you’ve noticed signs of aging.

Now, these changes aren’t going to turn you into an ageless bionic superhuman, but they can certainly help you age better and become more resilient.

Which parts of aging are under our control?

From the moment we’re born, our bodies begin to change. These changes continue throughout life.

Yes, change is inevitable…

…but how and when we age is highly influenced by our lifestyle.

Most of us have great bodies at 18 — slim, pain-free, resistant to illness and injury. By 68, we might groan about our soft midsection, our bum knee, or our high blood sugar.

We might call these changes “aging”. But much of what we call “aging” is actually very much an accumulation of lifestyle habits.

The soft midsection, the bum knee, the high blood sugar are often the result of:

a chronic sweet tooth;

a lifetime of following the “always finish your plate” rule — no matter how big the plate; and

lots of sitting, which allowed those knee-supporting muscles to atrophy.

Another 68-year-old who practiced habits like mindful eating, regular movement, strength training, and a nutritious diet might not see those symptoms appear until much later, or perhaps ever.

Let’s take an even deeper look…

Conditions that occur in the elderly

Some health issues occur almost exclusively in advanced age. While many factors contribute to these, lifestyle and nutrition habits can play a role in when, and to what degree, these issues manifest.

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Arthritis

Arthritis is characterized by inflammation of the joints. Although there are many types of arthritis, the two most common forms are rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the joint tissues. This results in pain, swelling, and redness.

Osteoarthritis occurs due to the chronic wear and tear of joints, resulting in pain that ranges from minor to debilitating. Risk factors include previous joint injury, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Because inflammation lies at the root of both types of arthritis, consuming a diet high in anti-inflammatory omega-3s and antioxidants may help support a healthy immune system response and moderate symptoms.

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Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a chronic neurodegenerative condition. Brain cells, or neurons, get damaged, which reduces their ability to communicate. This results in memory problems, mood dysregulation, difficulties with language, and sometimes physical disability.

Although Alzheimer’s disease is not fully understood, we know that it tends to run in families, which hints at a genetic link.

Some researchers have suggested that Alzheimer’s could be called “Type 3 diabetes” because chronically elevated blood sugar (and insulin) seems to increase inflammation, as well as influence the size/development of the hippocampus (a brain structure essential to learning and memory).

In order to preserve brain health, take care of the body as a whole: Exercise regularly, consume a nutritious diet, manage blood sugar, and reduce or eliminate smoking and / or excessive alcohol consumption.

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Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye gets clouded with clumps of protein or yellow-brown pigment.

Symptoms can include blurry vision, trouble seeing with bright lights, trouble seeing at night, and reduced ability to distinguish colors. In advanced cases, a person with cataracts may have trouble driving, reading, and recognizing faces. If left untreated, cataracts can even result in blindness.

Age increases the risk of cataracts, as does smoking, excessive unprotected sun exposure, heavy alcohol consumption, and diabetes.

Consuming a diet high in antioxidants (which often come from dark green, purple, and orange fruits and vegetables) provides nutrients that keep the eyes healthy.
In older age, good nutrition is more important than ever.

Older age brings with it special nutrition concerns and requirements.

In older age, energy needs decrease but nutrition needs increase.

In general, because of the physical and lifestyle changes that tend to go along with aging, the need for overall calories is decreased.

However, the need for nutrition, in the form of nutrient-dense, well-absorbed foods and targeted supplementation, is more important than ever.

Water

Dehydration risk is higher among older adults. This may be due to side effects from prescription medications, or a reduced sense of thirst (more pronounced in those with Alzheimer’s disease or those who have suffered a stroke).

Dehydration:

worsens constipation;

increases risk of bladder infection and kidney injury;

thickens mucus in lungs, aggravating  asthma or lung conditions; and

reduces mental performance and increases fatigue.

Older adults should consume 2-3 liters of liquids per day in the form of water (ideally), herbal teas, broths, or liquid-based foods like smoothies and soups. Adjust amounts as needed according to medication requirements, if applicable.

Use the below chart to assess hydration levels.

Note: Certain medications, B-vitamins can darken or change the color of urine.

Tip: To increase water consumption, leave written reminders around the house, or set a timer to go off every 1-2 hours during the day reminding you to drink water. For those with mobility issues (who have trouble getting up to drink) or tremors (who have trouble holding a glass steady), have caretakers make water easily accessible, and use appropriate drinking containers (e.g. cups with spill proof lids, or straws to help those with diminished strength or shaky hands).

Vitamin & Minerals

Studies show that people with a high intake of antioxidant vitamins (especially from nutrient-dense whole foods) generally have a lower risk of major chronic disease, such as heart attack or stroke.

While most vitamin and mineral needs increase with age due to poor absorption or interactions with medications, some needs decrease.

Vitamin A

Absorption of vitamin A increases with aging, so vitamin A (retinol) should be avoided in supplement form. In older individuals, getting vitamin A through foods is best.

Adults should aim to get about 2,000-2,500 IU of vitamin A per day, from retinol rich food sources like liver, dairy products, and fish. For carotenoids, the plant form of vitamin A, see recommendations below.

Vitamin B12

As we get older, we get less efficient at absorbing vitamin B12, which supports brain and nervous system health. Deficiency is confirmed via blood test. Symptoms include: fatigue, dizziness or loss of balance, and reduced mental function.

Adults need 2.4 mcg of B12 a day from food sources like eggs, dairy products, meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, and B12 fortified foods.

If supplementation is needed (which can be confirmed by a blood test), opt for B12 options that get absorbed directly into the bloodstream, like injections, or drops/lozenges that dissolve under the tongue. To correct a deficiency, supplement with 1,000 mcg a day until normal levels are restored.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is involved in immune system, hormone, bone, and brain health. As we age, our synthesis of vitamin D from sun exposure declines. Especially in northern climates, vitamin D deficiency is extremely common. Moderate sun exposure and vitamin D supplements are recommended, as vitamin D does not occur naturally in high amounts in food.

Adults should take between 800 – 4000 IU of vitamin D a day, depending on the degree of deficiency. Because vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning it’s only absorbed in the presence of fat, take supplement with food that contains fat.

Carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E

These vitamins have antioxidant properties and are important for keeping tissues healthy and free from disease. In particular, the lens of eye is easily oxidized, leading to macular degeneration and cataracts.

Especially in the case of vitamin E and beta-carotene, avoid supplements, as they have been shown in studies to be ineffective or even harmful, particularly for smokers and those at risk for heart disease. Therefore, it’s best to get these nutrients from food.

Carotenoids are rich in orange and yellow colored plants, like sweet potato, squash, and carrots, as well as dark leafy greens, such as spinach, beet greens, or kale.

Vitamin E can be found in nuts, seeds, nut butters, and wheat germ.

Vitamin C requirements can be easily obtained by consuming a variety of fresh (uncooked) fruits and vegetables every day.

Calcium

We need calcium to regulate heart rate and maintain bone mass, but absorption declines with age.

Men and women aged 50 and older should get 1200 mg of calcium per day. Prioritize calcium intake through whole food sources, such as dairy products, cooked greens, and calcium-fortified foods.

Iron

Iron deficiency can result in low energy, poor concentration, and dizziness. Iron status generally improves later in life, especially in women after menstruation.

However, iron deficiency is still possible, usually due to low food intake, chronic blood loss from ulcers or hemorrhoids, poor absorption, antacid use, or the use of certain medications.

Men and non-menstruating women should aim to get about 8 mg of iron per day, from red meats; organ meats; clams and oysters; beans and lentils; and cooked dark leafy greens.

If iron deficiency is confirmed, supplementation may be required.

Caution: Before taking an iron supplement, confirm via a blood test that iron is low. Iron taken in excess of requirements is toxic. If iron deficiency is confirmed, adults should take 10-30 mg of elemental iron 1-3 times a day, depending on the degree of deficiency.

Zinc

Zinc deficiency is common in older people and can depress appetite and blunt sense of taste, making eating less enjoyable. Many medications can worsen zinc deficiency.

Adults should try to get between 8-11 mg of zinc a day, from food sources such as oysters; mussels; meat; pumpkin seeds; and beans, peas, and lentils.

If diet is restricted or if a person is on medications that deplete zinc levels, supplementation may also be appropriate.

Tip: To make things easier, you don’t have to supplement each of these individually. Rather, look for a multivitamin-mineral supplement formulated specifically for seniors, which should exclude vitamin A. Choose liquid formulas if swallowing is difficult or if digestion is impaired.  

For help choosing products, third-party rating sites like Examine and Labdoor provide unbiased, evidence-based suggestions for the most effective supplements and brands.

Protein, Carbohydrates & Fats

Macronutrient needs, and the way our bodies metabolizes macronutrients, change as we get older. The ideal macronutrient balance for someone who is 25 may be different from the ideal balance for someone who is 75.

Protein

As we age, we may develop “anabolic resistance”, which is when protein synthesis decreases. In other words, we need more protein to do the same job.

Healthy older people should aim to get 
at least 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. Malnourished or ill seniors should aim to get 
1.2 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, or more with severe illness.

For a person who weighs 68kg (150lbs), that translates to about 80-100g of protein, or about 4-5 palm-sized servings of protein per day.

The only caution is in those with kidney problems. In those cases, consult with a doctor, Registered Dietician, or other certified nutrition professional, to determine appropriate amounts.

Choose proteins that are soft and easy to digest, such as stewed meats or poultry, soft cooked fish, well-cooked legumes, scrambled eggs, and good quality protein powders.

Carbohydrates

Good quality carbohydrates help meet energy needs and add fiber to the diet, which prevents constipation.

Aim to get about 25 grams of fiber a day from soft, easy to digest carbohydrates such as well-cooked whole grains and porridges, well-cooked legumes, well-cooked root vegetables, fruits, and powdered fibre supplements.

Fats

Fats play an important role in inflammation regulation.

Reduce or eliminate trans fats (which tend to be high in processed foods), and moderate saturated fats (like animal fats) and lesser quality omega-6 fats (like corn or soybean oil).

Encourage good quality omega-6 (like extra virgin olive oil and avocado) and omega-3 fats (from foods like sardines, mackerel, salmon, herring, anchovies, flax, chia, hemp seeds, and walnuts). Aim for about three servings of fat-rich foods per day, from a mix of quality sources.

Tip: Consume a colorful, balanced, whole foods diet. Prioritize nutrient-dense foods first, but don’t be militant about removing all treats; pleasure is important too!

Let’s take an even deeper look…

Evidence-based supplements* that help

There are lots of bottles and potions on the shelves claiming to reverse age, smooth wrinkles, erase pain, and promote longevity.

Many of these supplements are poorly researched and may be at best, a waste of money, and at worst, harmful to one’s health.

Here’s a list of evidence-based supplements that are particularly useful in the older years:

Multivitamin (senior’s formula with low or no vitamin A): Promotes general health; reduces the risk of illness and micronutrient deficiency.

Probiotics: Improves digestion and immunity.

Fiber: Reduces constipation and helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol.

Vitamin D: Reduces risk of chronic disease, particularly osteoporosis and cancer.

Omega 3: Modulates inflammation and contributes to eye, skin, and brain health.

Protein & Creatine: Helps preserve lean tissue (muscle and bone mass); decreases frailty.

Digestive enzyme: Aids breakdown of food, easing digestion and enhancing absorption of nutrients.

Glucosamine: Preserves and builds healthy joint tissue; may reduce pain in osteoarthritis.

*Please note that supplements quality can vary greatly. Shop at stores you trust with high product turnover, and look for supplements that are free of artificial sweeteners, coloring, flavoring, and ingredients that you don’t recognize. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from knowledgeable health store staff. Additionally, third-party rating sites like Examine and Labdoor provide unbiased, evidence-based suggestions for the most effective supplements and brands.
7 habits that can help you age well.

Luckily, we now have research on the specific factors that can help you live a healthy, enjoyable, meaningful life, longer.

In a variety of large-scale population studies, these seven lifestyle habits are consistently correlated with lower disease rates, better mood and well-being, and increased longevity.

The earlier you start, the better, but these habits can make a difference no matter your current age.

Practice these habits consistently, and transform the experience of aging.

1. Keep moving.

For relatively little cost or time (about 30 minutes a day), exercise is one of the most impactful things we can do for our health.

As we age, our metabolism declines and our bodies don’t use nutrients as well.

Exercise signals the body to:

use nutrients and balance blood sugar;
build and repair bone and muscle tissue; and
circulate blood, nutrients, and oxygen, including to the brain.

Regular exercise is correlated with lower rates of:

Alzheimer’s and dementia
Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity
Arthritis and bone fractures
Anxiety and depression
Fatigue
Overall mortality

Additionally, exercise improves mood and well-being. This is especially true if exercise is social, like walking with a friend or attending group classes.

Common challenges seniors face with moving

When muscles aren’t used, they atrophy: Moving around becomes harder, making it more likely that a person will continue being sedentary.

Also, embarking on an exercise program might sound intimidating and inaccessible: Whether due to pain, injury, illness, or just a history of being sedentary, it may be difficult or scary to begin an activity program.

Action steps that can help

Start with gentle activities. This reduces the risk of injury or heart attack. Opt for low impact activities, such as swimming, recumbent biking, or walking on grass or dirt rather than pavement. Even when mobility is reduced or compromised, exercise can be made accessible and can benefit health tremendously.

Find an activity that feels fun. And one that can be done consistently. This can include: gardening or yard work, walking, swimming, climbing stairs, yoga, tai chi, cleaning the house, or doing light weight circuits.

Keep things in perspective. Remember that “moderate to vigorous” is a subjective measure. What a 25-year-old personal trainer defines as “moderate to vigorous” may be very different from how an 85-year-old beginner exerciser defines it. The right level of activity should leave the exerciser feeling out of breath, but still able to hold a conversation.

Ease into exercise. About 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per day is ideal, but benefits appear after only 10 minutes of movement per day! A good program will incorporate some endurance training (like walking fast), some weight bearing activities (like doing bicep curls with soup cans), and some balance training (like practicing standing on one foot, or doing yoga).

2. Eat healthy meals.

The foods we eat literally make up our bodies. If we are missing important nutrients, our bodies are more vulnerable to damage or illness.

Although all nutrients are important, two get are critical during the older years:

Protein is especially crucial because it helps to preserve valuable lean tissue (muscle and bone). Higher lean tissue reduces frailty, falls, and fractures, all of which are associated with poorer quality of life and earlier death.

Antioxidants are like the body’s defense team. Aging is partly due to an accumulation of daily attacks from free radicals from pollution, household chemicals, too much sun, or lifestyle habits like smoking, eating lots of processed foods, or excessive drinking.

Antioxidants protect our body from free radical damage, and slow down the aging process. With a regular supply of antioxidants through wholesome meals abundant in colorful plant foods, we’re less vulnerable to cataracts, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and more.

Aim for five servings of vegetables and fruits a day — and choose a variety of colors! Different colors (red, purple, green, orange, etc.) often relate to different nutrient compounds, so the more colorful the “rainbow” you’re consuming, the more nutrients you’re getting.

Common challenges seniors face with eating healthy

Poor appetite can lower food intake and the enjoyment of food: This may be caused by medication side effects, illness, or nutrient deficiencies. If a person has frequent digestive upset, they may be (understandably) resistant to trying new foods or eating anything that has triggered them in the past.

The individual may have dentures or weak teeth: If dentures are ill-fitting (this can happen after extreme weight gain or loss) or teeth are weak, it can be difficult and painful to chew.

It might be harder to shop for or prepare food: Frequent obstacles include trouble walking, carrying groceries, or holding a knife steady due to shaky hands.

Energy or mood is low: Fatigue, anxiety, or depression can make it challenging to find motivation to prepare meals. Elderly living alone and eating in isolation are especially vulnerable.

Many older individuals no longer have an income: That means the highest quality foods may not be accessible to them.

Certain generations may carry strong ideas about nutrition: For example, some may habitually avoid fats, feel they must “clean the plate”, or believe in dessert after every meal, because that’s how they grew up eating.

Action steps that can help

Prioritize consumption of whole foods to increase nutrition. These include fruits and vegetables, legumes, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Focus on soft, well-cooked, or pureed / blended foods. Try scrambled eggs, poached fish, mashed vegetables, avocado, yogurt, smoothies, and soups, which are easier to digest.

Try food supplements. Protein powders, green powders, fiber powders, and fish oil can be useful for increasing nutrition.

Aim to create balanced meals. These should have a protein source, a colorful fruit or veggie, a healthy fat, and a quality carbohydrate at every meal.

If budget allows, sign up for a grocery or meal delivery service. This can make food preparation much easier.

Choose quick and easy to prepare foods when grocery shopping. Opt for pre-made high quality soups, pre-cut fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, or pre-cooked proteins.

Don’t forget pleasure. Look for ways to increase enjoyment while eating: Choose foods that appeal; set the table with nice linens, silverware, and flowers; eat slowly and savour food; and allow small treats if desired. A small bowl of hazelnut gelato after dinner a couple times a week makes life just a bit more delicious!

3. Achieve or maintain a healthy weight.

According to research, there is a BMI “sweet spot” for the elderly.

Seniors with a BMI between 25 and 32 have the lowest rates of mortality, and recover better from illness and infection.

Being overweight or underweight can pose a risk.

Too much body fat can be harmful. In particular, visceral fat around our internal organs is associated with higher inflammation, insulin resistance and high blood sugar, eye problems like cataracts or blindness, kidney damage, and cancer.

However, some fat can be protective. Having enough body fat helps a person recover better from wasting diseases like pneumonia, cancer, influenza, and digestive issues. Having some body fat is also correlated with a lowered risk of fracture during a fall.

Common challenges seniors face with finding a healthy weight

Elderly who are underweight may struggle to gain weight: This can be due to low appetite, which can be caused by medication side effects, digestion problems, or zinc deficiency (which reduces sense of taste and can make food taste metallic). Social isolation is also correlated with skipping meals and eating less nutritious meals.

Those who are overweight may struggle to lose weight: Again, medication side effects can contribute to weight gain. Sometimes, seniors are just eating like they did when they were younger — except now, they’re moving less and may have lost metabolically active tissue, like muscle, to use those calories.

The onset of retirement and the “empty nest” stage can change eating habits: More leisure time and less routine may mean eating frequently at restaurants, often accompanied by more alcoholic drinks.

Action steps that can help

If weight gain is needed:

Ensure protein requirements are getting met first. This macronutrient offers the biggest “return on investment” in terms of staying healthy and resilient as a senior.

Healthy fats are calorically dense and can easily increase calorie intake. Choose fats like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nut butters, and full-fat dairy products like plain whole milk yogurt or aged hard cheeses.

If weight loss is needed:

Practice mindful, slow eating. And instead of counting calories (which can be annoying to do at any age), measure portions using your own hands! (See this article for more information on this portion control strategy.)

Prioritize whole foods. These include fresh vegetables, lean proteins, and appropriate amounts of healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.

In all cases:

Avoid “diet rules” or forcing certain foods. If kale is unpalatable, take it off the table. If you want to have a cookie every now and then, enjoy that double chocolate chunk!

4. Get the right amount of sleep.

As we age, it’s normal to need less sleep, and to sleep less consistently. As a result, older people may have trouble falling or staying asleep, and/or may wake early.

However, at any age, adequate sleep is essential, and helps:

brain regeneration, improving memory and focus;

hormone and neurotransmitter regulation, keeping mood and appetite stable;

inflammation regulation, keeping the immune system healthy and balanced; and

recovery from stress, be it from emotional or physical sources.

In the older years, getting anywhere from 5 to 9 hours of sleep a day may be appropriate.


Sleeping enough helps keep us healthy, but sleeping too much can be a sign of illness.

If sleeping over 9 or 10 hours is becoming the norm, consult a physician. Excessive sleep can be a sign of nutrient deficiency (low iron and B12 can both cause fatigue), depression, infection, or serious illness.

Common challenges seniors face with getting the right amount of sleep

Changing sleep patterns throw people off: Although it’s normal to need less sleep in our older years, it may be difficult to adjust to a new sleep schedule.

Side effects from medication interrupt natural rhythms: Some medications may cause fatigue or wakefulness.

Worries about health, finances, or loved ones can also keep us up: If tossing and turning is chronic, get a full assessment of what’s preventing rest, including what’s weighing on the heart and mind.

Action steps that can help

Practice good sleep hygiene. Setting up a good night’s sleep doesn’t just happen at night. Turn down the lights and disengage from stimulating activities about an hour before bed. Make your bedroom as dark as possible, and keep it cool (around 67 F / 19 C).

Keep a regular sleep schedule. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Avoid napping for more than an hour a day, or napping later in the day.

Create a comforting sleep routine. For example, have a bath, read some calming literature, or go for a slow walk outside.

Avoid spending time in bed while awake. If you can’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, leave the bed and do some restful activities, like reading or making a cup of tea; return to bed when you feel sleepy again.

Check out this article for more tips on getting a good night’s sleep.

5. Reduce or quit smoking.

To some it may be hard to believe, but many seniors grew up during a time when smoking was promoted as a healthy habit!

However, we now know smoking is undeniably linked to negative health outcomes — primarily lung diseases like asthma, emphysema, and lung cancer; and cardiovascular events like heart attack or stroke.

Smoking dramatically increases our exposure to free radicals, which increase inflammation, damage the arteries, and advance physiological age.

The good news is:

It’s never too late to quit and the body begins to regenerate immediately.

Common challenges seniors face with stopping smoking

Cigarettes are addictive and smoking is hard to quit: If this habit has been maintained for decades, a person may find it hard to imagine their life without smoking.

Older people may wonder, what’s the point of quitting now?: This is why it’s important to understand that, no matter what age smoking is ceased, health benefits can occur almost immediately.

Action steps that can help

Take it slow. Smoking is often used as a way to cope with stress. Therefore, rather than simply yanking out this behavior, you may have better luck gradually replacing it with more productive coping mechanisms. Incorporate supportive stress management practices like massage, spending time with friends, or engaging in a creative hobby, and use them to slowly phase cigarettes out.

Avoid shaming. Whether you’re trying to quit yourself or helping a client quit, don’t resort to shaming or judgement. It‘s common knowledge that smoking is linked to poor health; a person who smokes needs a sense of hope, not a lecture. The body can regenerate at any age! That’s why there’s still value in quitting, and the benefits can be linked to meaningful goals. For example, being able to go on a long, vigorous walk with a beloved pet while able to breathe freely and clearly.

Seek support. Individuals trying to quit may also find benefit in joining support groups, seeking counseling, or trying other medical interventions under the care of their physician.

6. Moderate or eliminate alcohol.

Wait a second — isn’t red wine supposed to promote longevity?!

The research on alcohol consumption — even moderate consumption — is mixed. Most experts suggest that if you don’t drink already, don’t start.

Excessive alcohol consumption is linked to health problems in almost every part of the body:

Heart: Arrhythmias; high blood pressure; heart disease; stroke

Brain: Sleep disruption; depression; neurological damage; epilepsy; dementia; alcoholism (particularly if it runs in the family)

Immune system: More prone to infection / illness / lowered immune response; cancer (mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, breast); increased inflammation / flare-ups of autoimmune disorders

Liver and kidneys: Fatty liver; alcoholic hepatitis; fibrosis / cirrhosis; liver cancer; kidney disease

Metabolism: Osteoporosis and bone fractures; anemia; pancreatitis; changes to fat metabolism; muscle damage; interference with some medications

The body can’t store alcohol, so must prioritize clearing it. As the liver metabolizes that scotch on the rocks, the side effect is that it may delay or neglect other tasks — like digesting, absorbing, and storing other nutrients like proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

We want to be careful not to overburden the liver, so it’s free to do all the other important jobs it needs to do.

Common challenges seniors face with alcohol moderation

Not knowing what moderate drinking looks like: Many people may be in the “heavy drinking” category without even realizing it.

According to the United States Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, “moderate drinking” means, on average:

Women: Up to seven drinks per week, with no more than three drinks on any single day.

Men: Up to 14 drinks per week, with no more than four drinks on any single day.

And just so it’s clear what a “drink” is, here’s a guide:

Increased leisure time may mean increased drinking: Going out to restaurants more often may mean having a nice Chardonnay more often — or maybe even the occasional 9-hole beer bash at the golf club!

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism: People may drink to blunt chronic pain, loneliness, or anxiety.

Action steps that can help

Replace alcoholic beverages. Try water, sparkling water, or vegetable juices instead.

Experiment with other stress-reducing activities. If you’re having more than 1 to 2 drinks per night, and you have trouble stopping, try reflecting on how you cope with life stress. Instead of judgement or lecturing, approach this habit with curiosity and compassion. Consider replacing drinking with spending time in nature, getting together with family, or playing with a pet.

Don’t go it alone. As with smoking, people trying to quit or reduce alcohol consumption may also find benefit in joining support groups, seeking additional counselling, or trying other medical interventions under the care of their physician.

7. Connect with others.

When people are surveyed about the most meaningful aspects of their lives, they list good marriages, close family relationships, rich friendships, and lively work relationships.

Often, it’s the presence of other people, to love and be loved by, that enhances our reason to live.

Elderly who live in isolation are also most at risk for physical and psychological problems. Living alone may mean that there is no one to help if you fall, no one to talk to about joys or sorrows, and no one to help prepare food. As a result, elderly living alone may be more prone to injury, loneliness, and malnourishment.

All of these factors reduce lifespan, and more importantly, quality of life.

Meaningful human interaction:

gives a sense of purpose;
decreases subjective age;
improves mental health; and
makes life more fun and joyful.

Prioritize and enable regular connection with family, friends, and community members.

Common challenges seniors face with social connection

As age increases, individuals are more likely to experience loss: You lose a chance to connect when you lose friends, family members, beloved pets, or a spouse (which is especially correlated with a sharp increase in mortality).

Living in a long-term care facility can be isolating: This can be especially difficult if social connections are not nurtured and enabled.

Eating in isolation is a red flag: When people eat alone, meals tend to be more repetitive, simple, and less nutritious.

Action steps that can help

Stay as independent as possible, but still highly connected. This enables both autonomy and support, which means experiencing plenty of meaning, richness, and joy in the later stages of life. Even if an individual has lost a loved one (or many), quality social connections are available and can be developed.

Prioritize social activities. Options include family potlucks, group fitness classes, bird watching meet-ups, live theater field trips with friends, or taking a course in a creative or intellectual endeavor with other like-minded peers.

Mix generations. Although the elderly may appreciate spending time with people of their own generation, younger generations can provide energy and newness to an elderly person’s life, and an elderly person can provide wisdom and perspective to a younger person’s life.

Reflect on your life, then take action.

My two sets of grandparents were very different.

One set had poor lifestyle habits, suffered from chronic disease, and died in their early seventies in a nursing home.

The other set stayed active, kept a vegetable garden that fed them many meals, and lived in a close community where they were able to help and be helped by neighbors and friends. This set lived well and independently on their farm into their mid-nineties.

When I think about my two sets of grandparents, I see the range of possibilities my genetics offer. Mostly, I see how powerfully lifestyle habits can affect quality of life.

There are lots of things we don’t have control over. But we do have control over many habits that have tremendous impact on our health and how we age.

I don’t aim for perfection, and don’t advocate anyone else does. But I do advocate for being proactive.

If you’re aging — and, ahem, that’s all of us — reflect on your family history, and your current habits. Consult the above list and focus on one thing to promote your healthspan. Practice that habit, and add more when and if you feel ready. All positive actions count, and no healthy step forward is too small.

If you’re a health professional, help your elderly clients or patients take action on these habits. Acknowledge the real-life constraints they have, but more importantly, highlight their strengths. The elderly have superpowers too — they made it here this far, after all!

And for everyone: You have today. What can you do to make the most of it?

What to do next:
Some tips from Precision Nutrition
If you’re elderly:
1. Simplify your life.

The later years are a great time to clarify what’s truly important.

It’s ok to let go of possessions, tasks, and even relationships that no longer bring you joy and meaning.

If you have the means, hire help! Get a trainer to help you move safely and regularly, a meal service to ensure your nutrition needs are being met, or a local youth to take care of minor house repairs and chores you no longer want to do.

This allows you to spend more time on the things you enjoy, hopefully with the people you really love spending time with.

2. Join a community.

Social interactions and good relationships give us purpose, joy, and connection. Connection with others is also linked to better physiological health.

Find like-minded people to connect with regularly, be it with classmates from a course you take, family, or just your neighbors down the street or down the hall.

And don’t be afraid to connect with the younger generation! If you’re not a grandparent by blood, you might be able to volunteer as one!

3. Embrace change.

Change is a constant.

Rather than resist it, learn to embrace it. Support whatever changes arise with compassion, openness, and resilience.

Many people find that developing a spiritual practice is nurturing during times of intense change.

This practice can be anything that supports you and brings you peace, whether it’s a daily walk in nature, regular time with a loved one to talk out hopes and fears, or a mindfulness practice like meditation or deep breathing.

4. Emphasize joy and meaning.

Do stuff you like!

Find ways to incorporate pleasure into your daily life.

Choose foods that you love and can savor. Get a massage or enjoy a special spa treatment. Read books that spark your curiosity and fill your heart with joy. Do something you’ve never tried but you’ve always wanted to do. Appreciate the beauty around you, whether it’s the light in a child’s face or the bright colors of your flower garden.

5. Give back

One of the best ways to feel good is to give to others.

As an older individual, you have a lifetime of perspective and wisdom that you can share with others.

Donate to charity, volunteer, or teach others something you’ve learned in your life. This could mean helping tutor adults in math at your local community centre, or teaching a younger family member how to make the famous family pierogi recipe.

Think of the legacy you want to share, and give it generously.

If you work with the elderly:
1. Do a full assessment of your clients’ health status, needs, wants, and situation.

Look at your client or patient holistically and in context.

Find out what and how they’re eating, what they do (if anything) for activity, what their living situation is like, what kind of support they have, where their mood and motivation is at, and what they do for fun.

If you don’t have access to a lab, work with an individual’s family doctor to get blood testing done to ensure that there aren’t any obvious nutritional deficiencies or abnormal blood markers.

Avoid “one-size-fits-all” prescriptions. There is no one “protocol for healthy seniors”. Just as in other stages of life, every elderly person is unique.

2. Focus on the positive and what can be done.

Working with the elderly may mean working with some limitations.

While these limitations should be respected, they shouldn’t be the focus.

Instead, focus on what a person is ready, willing, and able to do. Add habits that are simple and provide easy “wins” for your client, which can help restore confidence and optimism.

Focus on doing the basics, consistently and well, to add a sense of autonomy and to improve quality of life.

Habits that are high impact, yet simple include:

Eating protein at every meal; drinking enough water;
Increasing the consumption of colorful fruits and veggies; and
Adding 10-30 minutes of movement per day.

3. Treat the elderly with dignity and respect.

Like all clients, assume they are the expert.

Chances are, they’ve been on the earth much longer than you, and have made it pretty far on their own.

So don’t boss them around.

As a health professional, you are there to provide information and support. Offer guidance but also offer options. Make it clear that the reins are in your client’s hands.

4. Know your scope of practice.

Work with other health care providers if your client or patient is facing issues you are not trained to deal with.

When appropriate and with consent, connect with a person’s family doctor, or other health professionals on their team.

Working together, you can all help to best serve a person in their quest to live a long, meaningful, healthy life.

If you’re a coach, or you want to be…

Learning how to coach clients, patients, friends, or family members through healthy eating and lifestyle changes — at any age — is an art and a science.

If you’d like to learn more about both, consider the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification. The next group kicks off shortly.

What’s it all about?

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is the world’s most respected nutrition education program. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to really understand how food influences a person’s health and fitness. Plus the ability to turn that knowledge into a thriving coaching practice.

Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients and patients, the Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.

Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.

[Of course, if you’re already a student or graduate of the Level 1 Certification, check out our Level 2 Certification Master Class. It’s an exclusive, year-long mentorship designed for elite professionals looking to master the art of coaching and be part of the top 1% of health and fitness coaches in the world.]

Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 33% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.

We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018.

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If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.

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References

Click here to view the information sources referenced in this article.

Honeycutt, P.H., & Ramsey, P. (2002). Factors contributing to falls in elderly men living in the community. Geriatric Nursing, 23(5), 250-257.

Koski, K., Luukinen, H., Laippala, P., & Kivela, S.L. (1996). Physiological Factors and Medications as

Predictors of Injurious Falls by Elderly People: A Prospective Population-based Study. Age and Ageing, 25(1), 29-38.

Koski, K., Luukinen, H., Laippala, P., & Kivelä, S.L. (1998). Risk Factors for Major Injurious Falls among the Home-Dwelling Elderly by Functional Abilities: A Prospective Population-Based Study. Gerontology, 44(4), 232–238.

Madureira, M.M., Takayama, L., Gallinaro, A.L., Caparbo, V.F., Costa, R.A., & Pereira, R.M.R. (2007) Balance training program is highly effective in improving functional status and reducing the risk of falls in elderly women with osteoporosis: a randomized controlled trial. Osteoporosis International, 18(4), 419–425.

Roche, J.J.W., Wenn, R.T., Sahota, O., & Moran, C.G. (2005) Effect of comorbidities and postoperative complications on mortality after hip fracture in elderly people: prospective observational cohort study, BMJ, 331(7529),1374.

Stalenhoef, P.A., Diederiks, J.P.M., Knottnerus, J.A., Kester, A.D.M., & Crebolder, H.F.J.M. (2002). A risk model for the prediction of recurrent falls in community-dwelling elderly: A prospective cohort study. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 55(11), 1088-1094.

Thomas, D.R. (2006). Vitamins in Aging, Health, and Longevity. Clin Interv Aging, 1(1), 81–91.

Vivekananthan, D.P., Penn, M.S., Sapp, S.K., Hsu, A., & Topol, E.J. (2003). Use of antioxidant vitamins for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis of randomised trials. The Lancet, 361(9374), 2017-2023.

Antioxidants, Vitamin E, Beta Carotene, & Cardiovascular Disease. (2017, March). Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16740-antioxidants-vitamin-e-beta-carotene–cardiovascular-disease

Arthritis. (2018, August). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthritis

Cataract. (2018, August). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cataract

Dehydration in the elderly. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/life/dehydrationelderly.html

Vitamin D and Calcium: Updated Dietary Reference Intakes. (2012, March). Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/healthy-eating/vitamins-minerals/vitamin-calcium-updated-dietary-reference-intakes-nutrition.html

[DocMikeEvans]. (2011, December 2). 23 and 1/2 hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health? [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo

The post Nutrition for seniors: 7 lifestyle strategies to stay strong, healthy, and independent longer. appeared first on Precision Nutrition.

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Busy Philipps Shuts Down a Body Shaming Instagram Troll: ‘You’re Clearly an A——‘

Sit down, body shamers, because Busy Philipps has a grammar lesson to teach you.

The actress, 39, shut down a troll who tried to criticize her body on Instagram — and expertly corrected his grammar.

Philipps posted a post-workout selfie from her favorite LEKfit class on Instagram, only to have a commenter reply, “Ughhhh, you’re rolls are showing.”

But, as Comments By Celebs noticed, the mom of two quickly took him down a notch with her reply.

“I feel like a man of your age should know the difference between YOUR and YOU’RE. YOUR is POSSESSIVE, as in “YOUR rolls are showing.” (Get it? The rolls BELONG to me.) YOU’RE is an abbreviation for YOU ARE, as in YOU’RE CLEARLY AN A—— BODYSHAMING LOSER,” Philipps wrote.

That’s 👏🏻 our 👏🏻 girl 👏🏻 #CommentsByCelebs

A post shared by @ commentsbycelebs on Aug 21, 2018 at 9:31am PDT

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

Ironically, Philipps’ original post was all about what makes her feel good, as part of a charity campaign with Rockets of Awesome, a clothing brand that is donating kids wear to children in need through the non-profit Baby2Baby.

“Today is #TheAwesomeChallenge and my workout every morning makes me feel awesome (even on the days when I’d rather stay in bed, like today),” she wrote.

Philipps immediately had the support of her dedicated Instagram followers, who called out the body shamer and praised Philipps’ response.

Philipps had a similar experience with body shaming in November, when a woman came up to her in a Rite Aid to comment on her looks. Philipps recounted the incident on her Instagram story.

“She was so sweet and had such a calming manner and in a loveliest way, she said, ‘You’ve lost some of your plumpness from Cougar Town. You look nice still, but you’ve lost some of your plumpness,’ ” she recalled.

Philipps added that this kind of encounter is fairly normal for female celebrities.

“You know how when you’re a woman, sometimes people feel like they should be able to comment about your body all the time or make laws about your body? Well when you’re an actress, or any female in the public eye, everyone feels that they can comment on your body all the f—— time. Always,” she said. “The amount of people in my long 20-year career in this industry who’ve come up to me in grocery stores and Bed Bath and Beyonds to talk with people about my weight … I think it’s a good thing to err on the side of ‘Let’s not talk to people about their bodies unless they bring it up first and they want to talk about their bodies.’ ”

Read more: people.com

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Jennifer Garner is a righteous avenger in ‘Peppermint’

The 1970s revenge movie never entirely went out of fashion, but it’s still making something of a comeback. Add to the recent “Death Wish” remake “Peppermint,” whose main novelty involves giving mothers equal time in the vigilante department, casting Jennifer Garner as the righteous avenger. Aside from the awful name, it’s a wholly ridiculous, ill-timed movie.

Read more: cnn.com

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20 Harry Potter Fan Castings Better Than What We Got In The Movies

It’s been seven years since Harry Potter vanquished Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts, capping off a decade-long franchise. For ten years, Potterheads ceremoniously swarmed theaters across the world to watch J.K. Rowling’s beloved Wizarding World on the silver screen over the course of 8 films.

With a wide-ranging cast of talent, there’s been little room to complain about the casting decisions made for many of the books’ characters. Still, there’s always reason to believe some improvement could have been made, had fans only had their chance at casting the characters.

Working with limited time constraints, it’s impossible to know how differently Hogwarts would have looked had the franchise’s producers been given free rein over the budget and creative decisions that went into each film. Luckily, the Potterverse has an imaginative fanbase that’s proud to share their own unique perspectives when it comes to choosing their own ideal actors for each role.

After some extensive research, we’ve stumbled upon some interesting casting decisions we’d personally love to see come to fruition. Although the likelihood of any of these actors and actresses landing these parts in the future is slim to none, it’s encouraging to see just how lively the Harry Potter movie universe has remained since the franchise’s end.

While not everyone will agree with some of these fancasts, it’s hard to deny that each one would bring another dimension to an already impeccably crafted universe.

Join us as we look over 20 Harry Potter Fan Castings Better Than What We Got.

20 Natalie Dormer as Pansy Parkinson

Born to the Parkinsons, one of the pure-blood Sacred Twenty-Eight families of the Wizarding World, Pansy Parkinson was sorted into Slytherin House in her first year at Hogwarts, where she instantly befriended Draco Malfoy, becoming one of his lackeys.

Perceived as mean-spirited and pug-faced by Potter, most likely due to his enmity for Draco, she was later described by Daily Prophet journalist Rita Skeeter as “pretty and vivacious.”

DeviantArt user yourcherrylips re-imagines Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormer in a heated rivalry with Hermione. Borrowing the school girl design from the British comedy St. Trinian’s, Dormer’s version of Pansy wears a similar outfit to Tom Felton’s Draco while noticeably shrugging off Hermione, whose much more school-friendly fashion directly juxtaposes Dormer’s more glamorous, beautified look.

19 Ben Barnes as a Young Sirius Black

As a member of the Marauders, Sirius Black was a pure-blood heir to the House of Black who defied his family’s pure blood lineage when he was sorted into Gryffindor House over Slytherin. Alongside James Potter, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew, he was a mischievous troublemaker in his youth.

Prior to his imprisonment in Azkaban, Sirius was described as a casually elegant figure with lustrous black hair, pale skin, and grey eyes.

Pictured above during his Maruader days, British actor Ben Barnes, most notable for Jigsaw in The Punisher, has the flowing black hair and aristocratic beauty necessary to play a younger Sirius.

Although too old for the part today, Barnes’ knack for playing courageous fantasy characters would have made for an easy transition into Sirius’ teen years.

18 Aiden Turner as an Older Sirius Black

Framed by Peter Pettigrew for the demise of James and Lily Potter, Sirius Black was arrested by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and sentenced to life imprisonment in Azkaban. Due to extreme maltreatment during his twelve years of solitary confinement, Sirius’s looks would diminish over time and by the time of his escape, he appeared with yellow teeth and long, matted hair.

In this creative re-imagining of a post-Azkaban Sirius, the Irish born Aiden Turner, most notable as Kili in the Hobbit films, portrays a much more handsome version of the character

. Although his sunken features and noticeably deteriorated hygiene aren’t a part of his look, his more prominent features such as the long, curly black hair and darkly handsome appearance make Turner an intriguing casting option for an older Sirius.

17 Harry Lloyd as a Young Lucius Malfoy

A member of the aristocratic social elite and the patriarch of the Malfoy family, Lucius Malfoy joined the Death Eaters under the rule of Lord Voldemort in order to fight for the notion that all wizards should be from a pure blood lineage. After Voldemort’s defeat at the end of the First Wizarding World, he convincingly avoided imprisonment by claiming he was under the controls of the Imperius Curse.

As a shrewd and opportunistic man of wealth, Malfoy hid under a veil of respectability.

With his pale, pointed looks and blonde-white hair, many fans have called Game of Thrones actor Harry Lloyd an ideal casting choice for a younger Lucius.

As the immoral and condescending Viserys Targaryen in GoT, Lloyd has experience playing self-deluded characters who come from a crazy family tree.

16 Cara Delevingne as a Young Narcissa Black

The youngest daughter to Cygnus and Druella Black and youngest sibling to Bellatrix Lestrange and Andromeda Tonks, Narcissa Black was born into a life of luxury, firmly believing the importance of a pure blood lineage and constantly looking down upon Muggles and Muggle-borns alike.

Although she never became a member of the Death Eaters, she was a consummate supporter of her husband Lucius Malfoy’s actions under the rule of Lord Voldemort during the First and Second Wizarding Wars.

Envisioned here by DeviantArt user TheGeekBoutique as a younger, Marauders era version of the character, Narcissa is portrayed by a blonde-haired Cara Delevingne wearing Slytherin House’s signature emerald green colors.

With her fierce, fiery look, Delevingne manages to encapsulate Narcissa’s haughty attitude, giving her the kind of egotistical edge needed to play a younger version of the witch.

15 Freddie Fox as Draco Malfoy

A pure-blood wizard born to Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, Draco Malfoy was Harry Potter’s arch-nemesis during his first couple of years at Hogwarts.

A strong believer in the preservation of pure-blood lineages, he was an arrogant and spiteful bully who showed little sympathy for Muggle-borns and “blood traitors,” teasing Harry and Hermione.

With his sleek, white-blonde hair and pale complexion, Draco’s pointed features were characteristic trademarks inherited by his wealthy, upper-class family.

Thanks to his striking looks in the film Victor Frankenstein, many fans have been quick to point out actor Freddie Fox’s eerie similarity to Draco.

With his posh fashion choices and pale, blonde-haired resemblance, he’s a match made in Potterverse heaven.

14 Andrew Garfield as a Younger Remus Lupin

Cursed with lycanthropy at an early age, Remus Lupin has always seen himself as somewhat of an outcast. Sorted into Gryffindor House during his first year at Hogwarts, he removed himself from his classmates during his monthly transformations, hiding inside the Shrieking Shack to prevent injuries to other students.

As a member of the Marauders, Remus kept his werewolf identity a secret from his friends James, Sirius, and Peter until they eventually learned the truth, accepting his lycanthropy and becoming Animagi to keep him company.

With his long, slender frame, noticeably shaggy features and scratch marks across his face, the Tumblr image above features The Amazing Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield as a perfect representation of how a young Remus might have appeared in his early years, before the considerable strain of his transformations took a toll on his body.

13 James McAvoy as an Older Remus Lupin

Remus Lupin suffered a great deal of prejudice throughout his life due to his cursed status as a werewolf. Appearing ragged due to his shabby clothing, rugged beard, and facial scars, his transformations took a toll on his body, leaving him with premature lines across his face which worsened with stress.

In the Tumblr image above, actor James McAvoy sports Remus’ slightly oversized grey jacket along with noticeable facial scars along his forehead and cheeks.

His slight smile is evocative of Remus’ peaceful and nurturing nature, which grew from his position as an outcast for most of his life.

With his wavy hair, red beard, and versatile performances, McAvoy is a dream casting choice to play the highly skilled wizard.

12 Martin Freeman as Arthur Weasley

A modest family man and pure-blood wizard, Arthur Weasley worked for the Ministry of Magic. where he staunchly believed in the equality of all magical and non-magical citizens and quickly grew a deep fascination for Muggle culture.

Unable to hide his enthusiasm over his fixation, his curiosity showcased his fun-loving side as he butchering everyday words, incorrectly calling escalators “escapators” and referring to telephones as “fellyphones.”

With his bright red hair and kind treatment to Harry, to whom he acted as a father-like figure, Arthur Weasley is a sentimental and affectionate member of the Weasley family, making Martin Freeman an ideal casting decision.

As imagined by this BuzzFeed image, Freeman’s ability to play mild-mannered yet extraordinarily unique characters makes him a prime fan choice for the part.

11 Rose Leslie as Ginny Weasley

The youngest of Arthur and Molly Weasely’s seven children, Ginny Weasley was a forceful and independent young woman. Although she often displayed an energetic and lively personality, her feelings for Harry initially made her appear withdrawn and shy.

With her flaming red hair and pale, freckled complexion, she later became admired by many at Hogwarts.

As an accomplished flyer, Ginny was also quite well established as a Chaser and Seeker for the Gryffindor Quidditch Team, later becoming a professional player for the Holyhead Harpies.

In the image created by DeviantArt user missknow-it-all, Game of Thrones actress Rose Leslie is imagined as a slightly older Ginny. With her similarly freckled complexion and fiery red hair, Leslie is an optimal choice for the future Holyhead Player of the Year.

10 Kaya Scodelario as a Younger Bellatrix Lestrange

Born into a privileged lifetsyle, Bellatrix Lestrange was the eldest daughter of Cygnus and Druella Black and was ruthlessly devoted to cleansing the Wizarding World of all blood traitors, half-bloods, Muggle-borns, Muggles, and half-breeds.

Sorted into Slytherin House during her years at Hogwarts, she immediately displayed signs of becoming a prodigious duelist with her interest in the Dark Arts.

Displaying little affection towards other human beings, Lestrange’s cruel personality bordered on megalomaniacal.

In the above image, courtesy of Tumblr, British star Kaya Scodelario portrays a much younger, more elegant version of Bellatrix.

Donning the Slytherin House’s snake emblem patched onto her emerald green outfit, Scodelario’s reputation for playing the self-destructive Effy Stonem on the British drama series Skins makes her a suitable actress for a Marauders movie.

9 Eva Green as as an Older Bellatrix Lestrange

A slavishly devoted Death Eater, Bellatrix Lestrange was a pure-blood believer prone to violent outbursts. Punished for her criminal acts during the First Wizarding War, she was imprisoned in Azkaban for the torture of Frank and Alice Longbottom before breaking out in 1996.

Once described as a great beauty of the House of Black, Bellatrix’s imprisonment would weigh heavily on her physical appearance as well as her psyche, giving her a pale, disheveled look. With her smokey eyes, long dark hair and versatility as a performer, actress Eva Green is no stranger to odder, villainess type roles.

Pictured as Bellatrix in the Tumblr image above, her pale complexion and sultry appearance make her an easy fit for a slightly older version of the character.

8 Jared Harris as a Younger Albus Dumbledore

With his kind eyes, raised brow and playful smirk, Jared Harris not only has the air of wit and danger about him to successfully pull off a younger portrayal of Albus Dumbledore, but he also has the wizard lineage to justify his fancasting.

As part of an online petition for the Fantastic Beasts franchise, fans started an uproar when they demanded Harris star as the young Headmaster of Hogwarts.

He would replace his father Richard Harris, who played the role in the first two Harry Potter films.

Starring opposite Johnny Depp’s Grindlewald, this re-imagined casting would envision Dumbledore in his 60s, prior to his ascension to the Headmaster position at Hogwarts.

Battling with his former friend, Harris would be a logical and ideal choice to replace his father, though the actor himself has admitted he’ll likely never play the part.

7 Michael Caine as an Older Albus Dumbledore

In his later years as the Headmaster of Hogwarts, the wise Albus Dumbledore became a benevolent peacekeeper of the wizarding school. Calm and collected although stern when he needed to be, he exhibited a serene composure at all times and expressed interests in relaxing hobbies such as knitting.

Despite his benign nature, he was a cunning individual whose superb talents as a wizard were unmatched by everyone but Lord Voldemort.

With his warmth and wit as well, as his history of playing mentor roles to the likes of Bruce Wayne, Michael Caine’s inclusion on this list as a possible candidate to play Dumbledore is a logical one.

His matching tall, slender frame and calming demeanor fall right into place with the long silver beard and flowing hair, making him a perfect fit.

6 Benedict Cumberbatch as Lord Voldemort

With his deeply sinister, reptilian features and long skeletal frame, Lord Voldemort’s dastardly inhuman appearance is the result of the Horcruxes which divided his soul into seven pieces. T

hanks to his piercing eyes, sharp cheekbones, deep baritone voice, and gift for playing highly intelligent, often polished characters, Benedict Cumberbatch fits the description of the pathologically maniacal Dark Lord in both looks and performance.

The slit nose, chalky white discoloration, and veiny bald appearance are added here, courtesy of Colin Douglas Gray Photography.

This playful recreation of Potter’s nemesis perfectly places Cumberbatch in a role he seemed destined to play.

Having already portrayed the gold-hoarding dragon Smaug in the Hobbit movie franchise, Cumberbatch already knows a thing or two about playing fiery, reptilian antagonists, making this an a easy transition which should come naturally to him.

5 Mark Strong as Severus Snape

Withdrawn and cruel to the students of Hogwarts, Severus Snape served as the Potions Master, Defence Against the Dark Arts professor and later Headmaster for the renowned wizarding school.

In his youth, his lack of interpersonal skills as well as his bitterness towards others, particularly Gryffindor students, resulted in his constant bullying, ultimately drawing him towards Lord Voldemort’s inner circle.

As a complicated individual who hid his emotions from the world, Snape was a multi-layered sorcerer who served as a member of both the Death Eaters as well as the Order of the Phoenix.

Dressed in all black attire with shoulder-length, black hair, Mark Strong’s character from Stardust, the cold-blooded Prince Septimus, has been called a picture-perfect example of how many Potterheads imagined Severus Snape on the big screen.

4 Karen Gillan as Lily Evans Potter

As a morally astute and vivacious individual with an uncommonly kind personality, Lily Evans Potter was described by Remus Lupin as a selfless person with the capacity to see the good in others– a trait that Harry inherited despite never having met her.

With her almond-shaped, green eyes and red hair, her distinctive appearance was so beautiful that even when confronting Voldemort during the First Wizarding War she appeared radiant beyond compare.

In the above picture, DeviantArt contributor ruxandramaria fittingly re-imagines actress Karen Gillan, most known for playing Doctor Who companion Amy Pond in the British sci-fi series, as a younger version of Lily during her days at Hogwarts.

Along with her pale complexion, flowing red hair, and green eyes, Gillan’s energetic personality makes her an ideal candidate for Lily should the opportunity ever arise.

3 Aaron Taylor-Johnson as James Potter

Mischievous and boastful during his youth, James Potter was an only child, born into a wealthy household and pampered by his parents, resulting in a proud yet charming personality. He was also quite the bully and could often be seen hexing Severus Snape.

Despite his immaturity, he rarely perceived himself as better than others and was personally disgusted with the prejudices about half-blood individuals.

With his unkempt black hair and thick-rimmed spectacles, James was said to share a striking resemblance to his son Harry.

In the picture above, actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, most notable for roles in Kick-Ass and Avengers: Age of Ultron, is a fitting match for James.

It’s easy to see why any Potterhead would cast him as a young version of Harry’s father.

2 Dev Patel as Harry Potter

Conceived of in 1990 while J.K. Rowling was waiting for a delayed train from Manchester, England to London, the eponymous, bespectacled wizard of her billion-dollar franchise was created as a way to reach young children and adults alike through literature with a suitable and relatable role model.

In this re-imagining, Tumblr user lilabeanz envisions Dev Patel, the Oscar-nominated actor, as an older portrayal of Potter.

Replacing his Hogwarts outfit for a more sophisticated father-figure look, his hair appears noticeably shaggy with a matching beard to show his age.

Perhaps the most interesting addition to this new fancasting design, however, is Harry’s signature lightning bolt design, which changes from a single red scar to an actual scar of lightning that branches out across most of his forehead.

1 Collin Farrell as Gellert Grindelwald

A student at the Durmstrang Institute, Gellert Grindelwald was a dark wizard who caused disruption among the Wizarding World in the 1920s. Kicked out of school for experimenting in the Dark Arts, he later befriended Albus Dumbledore, only to become obsessed with finding the Deathly Hallows in an attempt to end the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.

At the end of the 2016 HP spin-off film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it is revealed in a twist ending that Percival Graves, the director of Magical Security for the Magical Congress of the United States of America, played by Colin Farrell, is actually none other than Grindelwald.

Since the reveal, many fans have petitioned to have Farrell return to the role to replace the franchise’s controversial star, Johnny Depp.

Do you have a dream casting for a Harry Potter character? Share in the comments!

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GCC News Roundup: Saudi Arabia and Canada face off, public listing of Aramco blocked (August 1-31)

By Sumaya Attia

Saudi Arabia and Canada locked in a diplomatic rift

On August 3, Canada’s foreign ministry’s official Twitter account tweeted concern over Saudi Arabia’s recent arrests of women’s rights activists. Saudi Arabia responded with a tweet of their own, declaring that no foreign entity interferes with their domestic affairs. As a result, Saudi Arabia suspended all flights to Toronto, froze trade with Canada, and expelled its ambassador, citing interference.

Saudi king tipped the scale against Aramco IPO plans

In the last two years, Saudi Arabia has been preparing to place up to 5 percent of its national oil company on the stock market. The planned listing was to be the cornerstone of the kingdom’s promised economic overhaul and, at a targeted $100 billion, the biggest IPO ever. But after months of setbacks, the international and domestic legs of the IPO were pulled after interference from King Salman.

According to sources, the king’s interlocutors told him that the IPO, far from helping the kingdom, would undermine it. Their main concern was that an IPO would bring full public disclosure of Aramco’s financial details, the sources said.

UAE uses Israeli spyware in hacking scheme, says lawsuit  

According to leaked emails, United Arab Emirates (UAE) rulers have been spying on local dissidents and rivals using Israeli spyware for more than a year. A lawsuit was filed against the spyware creators in both Israel and Cyprus, by victims of the spyware, a Qatari citizen, and Mexican activists and journalists.

Despite the UAE not recognizing Israel as a state, spyware is considered a weapon in Israel, which means its sale to the Emiratis could have only been signed off by the Israeli defense ministry, suggesting an alliance behind the scenes between the two countries.

A glimpse inside the annual Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj

On August 19, almost two million Muslims from all over the world congregated together in Mecca, Saudi Arabia to perform the holy ritual of Hajj, a mandatory religious duty required of all financially and physically-abled adult Muslims. The Hajj is considered an act of spiritual solidarity and submission to God, performed over five to six days.

During this time, Muslim pilgrims renew their sense of purpose in the world and come together in a unified sense with Muslims from all over the world. At the end of Hajj, the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha commences, where an animal sacrifice (generally a lamb) is made and a portion of it is given as charity to the poor.

Mattis signals support to Saudi-led coalition in Yemen 

On August 28, the United States indicated that it would continue its support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. This came after news that a Saudi-led airstrike struck a school bus full of children, killing dozens. Despite reiterating that U.S. support to the Saudis was not “unconditional,” Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis told reporters that while the bus incident was a tragic mistake, the U.S. will continue to work with the Saudis, stating, “We haven’t seen any callous disregard by the people we’re working with.”

Mattis also said that the goal of the U.S. was to, “…reduce this tragedy and to get it to the U.N.- brokered table as quickly as possible.”



        

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Serena Williams could cash in on an upcoming tech IPO (FB)

Serena WilliamsGetty Images

Tennis star Serena Williams could see a boon from the initial public offering of the parent company of SurveyMonkey.
Williams serves as a director of the company and owns 210,000 options and another 35,000 shares.
Williams’ options come with a very standard caveat: Each one will cost her $16.03 to buy — so unless SurveyMonkey really explodes out of the gate after its IPO, her potential profit will likely pale in comparison to her winnings from tennis. 
Still, depending how things go, the SurveyMonkey IPO could mean a tidy payday for Williams. 

Serena Williams has racked up some major cash on the tennis circuit  — she’s made over $84 million in winnings in her career.  Now she has a chance to strike it big in a tech IPO.

Williams is among those who could see a windfall from the IPO of SVMK, the parent company of SurveyMonkey. The tennis star serves as a director of the company and holds some 210,000 options and another 35,000 restricted shares in the company. See the rest of the story at Business Insider

NOW WATCH: Everything Samsung just announced — the Galaxy Note 9, Fortnite, and more

See Also:

Sheryl Sandberg is donating her entire 10% stake in her late husband’s company to charity after it goes publicSurveyMonkey is going public after 19 years in business and $1.1 billion in fundingAll the TV shows that have been canceled in 2018

SEE ALSO: Sheryl Sandberg is donating her entire 10% stake in her late husband’s company to charity after it goes public

SEE ALSO: SurveyMonkey is going public after 19 years in business and $1.1 billion in funding

SEE ALSO: Startups worth $8.7 billion went IPO in the first half of 2018, and Wall Street thinks the boom time is just getting started


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4 Ways to Improve Your Ketone Levels for Optimal Weight Loss & More Energy

This note is specifically for people on a ketogenic low carb diet and is referring to “nutritional ketosis” or the process of burning ketones for fuel/energy instead of glucose for both weight loss and health benefits.

Topics Today:

– What IS a ketone?
– What should my blood ketone levels be on a keto diet?
– When should I test my ketone levels?
– Blood Ketone Testing vs Urine Ketone Tests
– 4 ways to increase/improve your ketone levels
– Things that affect your ketone levels
– Why should you test your blood glucose levels?

If you’ve known me for ANY amount of time, you already know I’m BIG on keeping it simple and not over-complicating the keto diet – but rather relaxing into a healthy, active low carb lifestyle and enjoying the results & benefits.

Today we’re going to talk about science though, and lack of science, what’s REALLY going on with your body, how to know – then what to do about it.

Keto Mojo Ketone Testing at KetoConWhy now?

Because over the last year I’ve had some weird issues & symptoms in my own keto journey, specifically after a 4-month round of antibiotics & steroids that seemed to throw my body out of whack about a year and a half ago.

I realized two things while I was at KetoCon in June.

First, that I had just “accepted that” and allowed it to become my new norm.

I realized I needed to get proactive about my goals and my RESULTS again! Instead of just accepting “this is how it is now.”

Which is exactly what I did.

I actually stopped & dropped for a quick workout on the spot, to kick-start my exercise motivation again, even.

The second thing I realized is…

There’s a HUGE depth of information and science and personal experiences starting to bubble out of the keto community. Enough so to make your head spin after three full days at a Keto Conference – lol. 😛

I’m going to attempt to “keep this simple” in my usual fashion, and share with you what I learned by “going down the rabbit hole” myself to learn more about the role Ketones play in our body on a ketogenic diet – so you don’t have to spend hours wading through all that conflicting information yourself. 😉

Knowing I was having some strange issues, I started a clean testing experiment series earlier this year. And so of course the Keto Mojo booth was one of my first stops at the Keto Con event.

This is where I had my glucose and ketone levels tested for the first time…

Blood Glucose and Ketone Testing for Optimal Ketosis

I signed up for their affiliate program so I could get you a discount. This link has your 15% off discount coded into it: Get 15% off the Keto Mojo Testing Meter. Their commission structure is weird/low but scoring us a discount was the big WIN! 😉

I had not eaten yet that day when she performed the glucose & ketone test on me, and the results showed pretty much what I suspected:

I was in ketosis, but on the low end with a 0.6 reading.

Accurate Ketone Level Testing

Or so I thought at the time…

Before we dive in, let me answer the quick question: What IS a ketone? – because as much as I thought I knew (lol) this was VERY interesting to me:

“a ketone is simply a water soluble fat that can be used for energy. The best ketones are the ones you make yourself from your fat stores and/or your diet.” –source

Meaning: not artificial ketones ingested through magic pills & potions.

What should your blood ketone levels be on a keto diet?

What I’m learning about Ketone levels is that … there are no definite answers. 🙂

There’s no perfect number or one-size-fits-all answer to the BIG question: what should MY ketone levels be? You do want to have at least 0.5 mmol/L reading which means you are IN ketosis.

Anything above that number (0.5) is where things seem to get interesting!

“The nutritional ketosis optimal zone is between 0.5 to 3.5 According to Dr’s Jeff S. Volek Phd, RD and Stephen D. Phinney MD, Phd Authors of The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living.” -from the Keto Mojo site

All the different factors, all the different tests, all the different potential interpretations of the results, etc (example) can be overwhelming and complicated.

I encourage you NOT to go down that rabbit hole. 😛

The bottom line after reading endless websites and case studies, is that 0.5 or higher is ideal for weight loss and improved athletic performance. Meaning, you at least want to be IN ketosis (at 0.5 mmol/L) and everything else is a variable.

Most “experts” seem to agree that the 1-3 range is ideal, but that there is NOT enough science-based evidence to back any specific claims.

There are too many variables and no real clinical testing.

There are also cases mentioned like Sami Inkenen (a triathlon world champion) with a reading at .6 and optimal energy and health. That reading was while he was rowing between US and Hawaii – and I have no idea if the reading was before, after or during his athletic performance.

On that note:

“Your absolute ketone levels tell you nothing about how well you are a) making ketones b) using ketones, or c) retaining ketones (i.e. preventing wasting via the urine). The number you measure is just a balance of all three. So you could be running purely on ketones but using everything you make, and end up with “low” levels – Sami Inkenen is a good example.

There’s no such thing as an optimal recommendation for everyone because we just don’t know how to measure or understand all those processes as much as we’d like to think we do!” – Tommy Wood, Chief Medical Director at Nourish Balance Thrive

It’s less about what’s right and wrong, and more about what’s right for YOU personally. There are so many variables at play, such as: how long you’ve been in ketosis, how efficiently your body produces/uses ketones, whether you are active or sedentary, etc.

This is where testing comes in. To determine your baseline numbers, comparing your results/readings to how you FEEL and perform, and finding your sweet spot with it all.

When should you test your ketone levels?

My lower blood ketone test results that I showed you in my last post, plus the one taken at KetoCon above, were both “morning results” – which I discovered is normal.

Your first blood ketone test taken an hour or two after waking up, or before eating, will be your lowest reading: the time of day when your ketone levels are lowest.

On the Keto Mojo site they say: “We like to test our ketones first thing in the morning before breakfast, as generally, they are at their lowest, and that gives you a baseline for the day. The second time for testing is just before our evening meal when generally they are at their highest.”

After reading that, I performed an evening test before dinner yesterday:

What should my blood ketone levels be to lose weight on a keto diet?

I was happy with those results.

But I’m also interested in improving them…

And in learning/experimenting more!

Blood Ketone Testing vs Urine Ketone Tests

To make all of this even MORE interesting, I have also been using urine test strips to monitor the ketone levels in my urine.

My urine ketone test shows higher levels of ketones, usually a darker reading in the moderate-to-large range.

Ketone Strips

I use Med Lab Diagnostics Ketone Strips and you can read why here.

What’s the difference?

A blood test tells you the ketone levels IN your body (in your bloodstream) right now. Urine ketone tests, the strips you pee on, only test the levels of excess acetoacetate your body is excreting.

Meaning not what your body is running on, but what your body is getting rid of (waste).

Also, the keto urine strips only measure acetoacetate levels, which is an unused ketone by the body. There are three different types of ketones in your body, and the only way to know your true ketone level is through a blood test.

There are a lot of other variables with urine strips as well such as electrolyte and hydration levels, medications and vitamins, and how efficiently your body is at USING the ketones it produces (meaning: less waste, resulting in lower urine test readings).

My Biggest Take-Aways From This So far…

I find it most interesting that my blood ketone levels are on the lower end, while my urine ketone levels are on the higher end. This doesn’t bother me or perplex me – my results are fine/good as far as saying I am indeed in ketosis.

What interests me most is improving those numbers, or experimenting with improving/changing them, and seeing how I FEEL as a result – or what the results are from those changes exactly.

It does require consistent testing to figure out your baseline numbers, because the truth is: that’s going to be different for everyone and for every BODY.

From there you can figure out IF you need to improve those numbers, with a specific goal: better/faster weight loss, higher energy levels, better athletic performance/endurance, less chronic pain/inflammation, etc.

Things that affect your ketone levels, and things ketone levels affect.

What can make your ketone levels lower or higher? This has been interesting to me! Certain foods of course, medications, exercise, fasting (intentional or not), and even GUT HEALTH.

We’ve been talking about how stress can affect your gut health, which can affect your mood & energy, all of which can also affect your ketone levels I’ve learned.

All things are leading back to the gut everywhere I look lately! 😉

Stress can affect your gut health, your gut health can cause stress/depression, gut health affects ketone levels – which can affect EVERYTHING.

4 ways to increase / improve your ketone levels

The first question that popped into MY mind was: “should you try to increase/improve this number??” I wasn’t sure. I’m still not 100% sure. But I do want my body running at optimal health, and I now have the tools to experiment and test various things for better RESULTS: improved mood, more energy, weight loss, etc.

In all my reading I learned that there are four methods for increasing your ketone levels for optimal weight loss & energy.

It boils down to what I like to call “Food, Fasting, Fake, Fit” – or:

1. Ketogenic Diet
2. Intermittent Fasting
3. Taking Exogenous Ketones
4. Exercise

These are the four things that affect your ketone levels.

First, I had NO idea that exercise (or lack of it) would have any impact on the ketone levels in your body, so that was fascinating to study! I enjoyed this article: Optimize your exercise to burn fat and utilize ketones for example.

I’m still doing more research on the best exercises on a keto diet, and for optimal ketone production, so stay tuned as I wade through all the articles out there!

From what I’ve gathered so far it seems like a steady increased heart rate like walking, hiking and swimming are ideal as well as core/strength training – vs high intensity workouts (not ideal). But I’m still researching the effects/impacts etc, so more on that coming soon…

“Exercise has long been known to increase ketone production, even in people without diabetes. Increases in fat mobilization and increased blood flow to the liver during exercise promotes increased fat uptake to the liver and the conversion of fat first to acetyl-CoA and then to the ketone body acetoacetate. Acetoacetate can then convert to the two other ketone bodies – acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These ketone bodies then leave the liver and can be used by muscle as energy.” – source

The first point above was obvious, BUT I did learn an interesting fact in my research. Something I probably should have known already. 🙂

Regarding MCT grade coconut oil (or MCT Oil) that people cook with, add to their coffee, eat by the spoonful, etc:

“MCTs are a type of saturated fat that goes straight to the liver after digestion. In the liver, these fats tend to be converted into ketones and sent to the cells in your body that need them for energy.” –source

As for Exogenous Ketones, those are highly debatable – and most of what you see on the market right now is SUPER SKETCHY. As said above, the best ketones are those your body produces itself.

That said, Ketologie came out with a brand new Ketones + Probiotics Pineapple Drink that is both for gut health (!) and to increase your ketone levels – plus focus, energy & electrolyte levels.

Ketologie Pineapple Probiotics Exogenous Ketone Supplement

I have some of this, so I’m going to try it along with the rest of my experiments!

That ^ is the ONLY exogenous ketone type product I would TRUST – period.

Going back to point #1, obviously one of the bigger factors to your ketone levels will be the foods you are eating. Different foods affect different people in different ways…

Why should you test your blood glucose levels?

I was told that a glucose reading of about 83 is ideal. But the real key to the Blood Glucose Testing part of the KetoMojo test meter is that it allows you to find out which foods spike your glucose – which in turn lowers your ketone levels.

From the Keto Mojo site:

“Testing your glucose is a good indicator of a food trigger, as blood sugar changes far more rapidly than ketones. Ketones are slow to move and sometimes its what happened the day before that matters most.

Also, some people see a spike in glucose when using artificial sweeteners, while others don’t. Knowing if an artificial sweetener, or almond flour, or some other “substitute” ingredient is causing glucose spikes is important. These spikes can sabotage your keto scores.

In such when investigating foods our sleuthing tool is the glucose test.”

Having the blood glucose testing option with your KetoMojo Ketone Meter is ideal so you can identify your own food culprits, and how things affect YOU personally.

Are There Any TRUE Answers?!

I personally found it frustrating that there weren’t any cold hard facts or “true numbers” to base things on, but the fact is there simply isn’t any real scientific or clinical data available yet.

So the best thing we have is the tools to learn more about our own bodies, and tools that allow us to improve the performance and results.

The only REAL thing you need to know is if you are IN ketosis, which a blood ketone reading of 0.5 or higher – or any positive reading on a urine strip, which is way less accurate but a start at least.

From there, if you aren’t experiencing any health issues or long-term weight loss stalls/gains, my advice is: don’t worry about it! Keep it simple. 😉

If you ARE experiencing problems or weird issues/symptoms, like I have been over the last year, then it’s time to dig in and figure out what’s going on – and how you can fix that problem.

What Should I Test First?

I’m excited to dig in and do some serious testing now that I’ve figured out my base levels. Keep in mind that I have been eating low carb (or “eating keto”) for a VERY long time – more than 7 years now.

I wasn’t always as consistent as I am now, but for the last few years I’ve been consistently in ketosis – outside of the 2 or maybe 3 times a year I knock myself out of ketosis intentionally for testing purposes, and still with a low carb / paleo meal (a whole-food carb-up).

Anyway, armed with all this cool & interesting new information, I’m anxious to start testing a few things!

On my list of things to test are:

* MCT coconut oil
* The Ketologie pineapple drink
* Different types of exercise
* A keto carnivore diet (meat only, maybe 3 day experiment)
* And of course: Keto Products. 🙂

I would love to hear what YOU most want to see me test first, or what you’ve tested on yourself and what YOUR results were.

I think it would be easiest to start with the coconut oil and simply adding a TBSP a day for three straight days and monitoring the results.

From there I would love to test higher levels of MCT, and whether that impacts the results. Testing the keto products I love will be FUN of course (smile!) and I think I’m highly interested in the results of a Zero Carb / Carnivore experiment.

* If you want to learn more about Blood Ketone Testing and Glucose Testing, or the KetoMojo Testing Meter I’m using myself, check out the Keto Mojo Videos & Guides on their website.

Those are VERY helpful!

Thoughts / Questions?

I’m curious if you test for ketosis, test ketone levels, what you use – and what your thoughts / questions / experiences are on the topic?

Let’s discuss! 🙂

Best,
Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

p.s. I got us a 15% discount on the Blood Glucose & Ketone Meter I’m using myself. The discount is coded into that link, so you’ll get 15% off automatically.

It’s already the most affordable and most accurate ketone/glucose testing kit available for the keto community, so another 15% off is a sweet deal!

Blood Glucose and Ketone Testing Meter

All material provided on this site is intended for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace professional medical advice. Please consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program.

 

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Low Carb Snack Box

 

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