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The Fitness Retreat – Upcoming Events 2012-2013

Update on the next Fitness Retreats. All information now available on our website: 

November 2012 – 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th Location – Wotton House Surrey

January 2013 – 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st Location – Wotton House, Surrey

February 2013 – 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th Location – Eastwood Hall, Nottinghamshire

Option of attending for 2 or 4 days. Single, Twin and Double Rooms available.

All food, accomodation, Training, Seminars and Spa facilities included



BPA and Toxicity – Part 2. The Fitness Retreat

Avoid phthalates to improve hormone balance and lower your risk of developing a serious disease. Phthalates are industrial chemicals similar to BPA that are found in food packaging, nail polish, hair spray, lotion, shampoo, and detergents. They are everywhere, and unless you make a determined effort to avoid exposure, they will alter your hormone levels and eventually cause disease, including cancer, liver toxicity, and infertility.

Phthalates, called “plasticizers,” make plastics more flexible or resilient and the list of where they’re found doesn’t end with the six mentioned above, and our greatest exposure may be from food and personal care products.  Phthalates are ubiquitous in cosmetics and personal care products because they are used to bind the fragrance oils together. But, you won’t find the word “phthalate” in the ingredients. Rather, they go under the non-descriptive term “fragrance” when they are added to personal care products, air fresheners, and candles. The danger doesn’t stop there though—phthalates are also in plastic toys, hoses, raincoats, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, lubricants, and adhesives, among other things.

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BPA Products. Reducing the Toxic load on your body – The Fitness Retreat Part 1

BPA or Bisphenol-A is a chemical used to make plastic and other products, and there is an abundance of evidence that it is toxic for humans and animals. BPA is an estrogenic, meaning it mimics estrogen in the body and binds to estrogen hormone receptors. When it is ingested, BPA can influences endocrine response—essentially, it alters hormone levels in both women and men. And, if you know anything about hormones, you probably know they affect just about everything, including brain function (concentration), nervous system activity (sleep and energy levels), sexual function (sex drive and ability to reproduce), metabolism (insulin health and fat burning), and organ function (heart and liver health). Indeed, research has linked BPA exposure to weight gain and obesity, disruption of the neurological system, cancer, problems with sexual health and reproduction, and cardiovascular disease.
Exposure to BPA is particularly bad for infants and young children, and a new widely publicized study links BPA exposure during gestation to behavior problems in young girls. Researchers have called BPA “a serious public health problem because of its widely detected presence in the human body.” In 2010, the U.S. FDA even reversed its classification of BPA as safe, noting that it has significant concerns about health risks. Never an organization to move quickly, the FDA’s current position is that there is ”concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.” The FDA has funded a number of research studies since their January 2010 stand on BPA, and is shifting to “reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply” because of the “substantial uncertainties” regarding the effect BPA has on human health. Indeed, BPA is clearly a toxic chemical for animals, and although research on humans is still emerging, it doesn’t take much common sense to know that it should be avoided.
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What you need to know about Gluten – The Fitness Retreat

I came across this article this morning by Charles Poliquin. It makes a lot of sense and we have found the exact same results when trying to get rid of that unwanted body fat.

In my 12 years I have never met anybody that doesn’t want to lose body fat. The health related links between body fat and cancer cell growth has a very strong coincidence for me.

From our results with Diabetics and other immune diseases our approach to reducing Sugars have been far more successful. There are good fats, but no good sugars.So control the sugars!

Have a read and see what you think. As Charles says, this isn’t for everybody. But there are some things that do apply to everybody – Rotation of foods, Fibre, Green Vegetables, all crucial to our digestive function and hormonal balance.

Gluten. Residential Fat loss and health education programme

Find out if you are intolerant or sensitive to gluten and eliminate it to improve body composition and health. I’m not going to start this article by saying that everyone should avoid gluten, although there is evidence that gluten is a difficult protein for all humans to digest and they might be better avoiding it.

Humans have never had adequate stomach enzymes necessary to break gluten down so that it can be properly digested, a problem that has been made much worse by the genetic engineering of wheat over the last 100 years. According to a new study analysis published in BMC Medicine, the amount of gluten in the wheat of today has increased to 14 percent from 4 percent a century ago.

Not only is the wheat we eat much more difficult and dangerous for our bodies to have to process than the wheat our great grandparents ate, but rates of gluten sensitivity have increased dramatically over the last half century. For example, the  BMC Medicine report analyzed rates of  gluten sensitivity and found that “during the past 50 years we have witnessed an ‘epidemic’ of celiac disease (the diagnosed inability to safely eat gluten without suffering intestinal damage) and the surging of new gluten-related disorders.”

Gluten Sensitivity Has Increased Dramatically Since the 1950s
Two fascinating studies that tested  for gluten sensitivity in military men using blood samples that had been taken 50 years before found that rates of gluten intolerance have increased 4-fold over the last 50 years. The men from that study who lived with undiagnosed gluten sensitivity had nearly a 5 times greater risk of dying from all causes during the 50-year study period.

These researchers suggest that “silent” undiagnosed, or incorrectly treated celiac disease may have a significant negative impact on survival, meaning if there’s any chance you are intolerant to gluten, you’d do best to avoid it! The evidence also suggests that just because you aren’t born with a sensitivity to gluten doesn’t mean you won’t become gluten intolerant. Check these statistics out:
•    Infants who are exposed to gluten from 0 to 3 months have a much greater risk of becoming gluten intolerant than those who are not.
•    Infants who are breast-fed are much less likely to become gluten intolerant than those that are given formula, regardless of if they are exposed to gluten during that time.
•    You can develop gluten intolerance at any age. For example, a review in the Annals of Medicine found that during a 15-year period from 1974-1989, celiac disease rates doubled in one U.S. cohort, and this jump was due to an increasing number of subjects that lost the immunological tolerance to gluten in their adulthood.
•    Celiac disease occurs in 1 to 2 percent of the American population, whereas estimates of diagnosable gluten sensitivity are around 35 percent of the Caucasian population, although this number may be much higher.
•    Gluten sensitivity appears to be much higher in people of white European descent, especially those from the UK.

Gluten-Free Diet Trends
Today, a gluten-free diet has been adopted by anywhere between 2 and 15 percent of the American population for many reasons, including diagnosed celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and the belief that a gluten-free diet is healthier or can help with weight loss. Eating gluten free is an increasing food trend, and although some nutritionists and various market research groups dub gluten-free eating a passing fad, better health and body composition would be more easily achieved if everyone with an intolerance to gluten were to eliminate it.

This article will address the concerns raised about the long-term health of a gluten-free diet so you can decide for yourself if it might be a good choice for you. I also provide 15 tips to achieve optimal health and body composition from a gluten-free diet. A clarification about definitions:
•    Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition affecting numerous systems in the body and it causes lasting damage to the intestinal tract. In the long-term, people with celiac disease will die if they don’t avoid gluten.
•    Gluten sensitivity is also an autoimmune condition, but it doesn’t cause lasting, irreversible damage to the digestive tract. There is a wide range of symptoms and degrees of sensitivity.
•    The word sensitivity can be substituted for intolerance.
•    Controversy exists about rates of gluten sensitivity because it is possible to have better health on a gluten-free diet but not have a positive blood test for gluten sensitivity. This is because gluten sensitivity is on a spectrum and it is possible to have serious intestinal inflammation from eating gluten but to not produce antibodies that will show up on the standard test.

Some nutritionists and doctors consider eliminating gluten to be unhealthy for nonceliacs because they suggest it will lead to a lack of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients in the diet. This argument ignores and belittles the issues:
•    As mentioned, evidence suggests that we can be sensitive to gluten and not have a positive test for gluten intolerance.
•    From a nutritional standpoint, there is nothing that is gotten from foods containing gluten that can’t be gotten easily from gluten-free foods. There are much better sources of protein, fiber, vitamin B, iron, etc., than wheat and gluten-containing foods.
•    To achieve and maintain optimal health and body composition, it is absolutely essential that people try to eliminate processed and fast-digesting high-carb foods in favor of high-quality protein, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other whole foods. By eating this way, as long as you pay some attention to eating a well-rounded, “colorful” diet, you will avoid nutrient deficiencies whether you choose to eliminate gluten or not.

Still, the argument has been made that people who don’t have a diagnosed gluten sensitivity are eliminating gluten because they have heard it can help them lose weight and feel better, which results in the development of nutrient deficiencies or in some cases weight gain if people end up relying on gluten-free analog products (those made to mimic the conventional gluten-containing breads, cookies, crackers, etc.). Gluten-free analog products often substitute unusually high-carb ingredients (potato, corn, tapioca starches) In place of wheat, and they are often very expensive.

Understandably, eliminating gluten in order to eat a diet high in gluten-free processed carbohydrate-filled foods can cause insulin resistance, weight gain, and poor health, so that’s not the way to go. Another criticism of gluten-free diets is that they require burdensome restrictions that make people sacrifice social eating so that they must eat alone in order to maintain their diet. Anyone who has ever tried a restrictive diet, whether it be a Paleo diet, a vegetarian diet, a low-carb, or a sugar-free diet knows that eliminating foods can cause some social disruption, but it comes down to the question, are you going to stand up for your health and are you willing to put something in your mouth that will compromise your body composition, beliefs, and energy levels?

Whether you are or not is a personal choice. The point is that many people are gluten sensitive, making it reasonable to ask the question, would I feel better and be healthier if I eliminate gluten from my diet?

To make ANY diet work for you, it must be based on individual dietary needs, high-quality protein, elimination of processed foods, minimal fast-digesting carb intake unless you have some specific need for lots of carbs (such as being an elite endurance athlete), and an attention to getting dietary fiber and all necessary nutrients.

A few pitfalls do exist to eating a healthy gluten-free diet:
Gluten-free substitutes (bread, cookies, crackers, pizza crust, etc.) are often higher in calories and carb content than the conventional gluten-filled version. Relying on them may cause insulin resistance and fat gain.

Products that are labeled gluten free or that were previously gluten free may not actually be gluten free. Companies regularly reformulate products, and although a product can’t be labeled gluten free if it contains gluten, if a product or food is made in a plant or kitchen that also processes gluten, it may be contaminated by gluten.

There are no labeling regulations regarding the definition of “gluten free”, meaning that marketers can claim a product is gluten free even if it is made beside a gluten-containing product. Additionally, products that appear to be gluten free, including sauces, condiments, dried fruit, and spices may contain gluten, but a store-based marketer may not know this, and inadvertently label it gluten free.

There have been cases of chefs intentionally contaminating food that is supposed to be cooked without gluten (yes, really). Whether this is due to a psychological problem on the part of the chef or to the gluten-free backlash is unclear. The point is that you need to be cautious if you need to avoid gluten.

For 15 tips of how to eliminate Gluten and see the rest of this article, click this link:

Hyperwear – Hypervest Review by Marvin Burton


This is my Video Blog of the Hyper Vest from Hyper Wear USA.

Weighted vest taken to the next level.

For more information visit


Lose Weight For Summer

Lose fat fast by combining a strength training program with a diet that helps you burn fat and build muscle.  You will lose the most fat by eating a diet that supports muscle building, prevents nutrient deficiencies, and helps you achieve the best hormone response for body composition. This article will give you my top five tips for incorporating those three goals into a dietary program for fat loss.
For some of you, these tips will be a radical approach to diet and fat loss, whereas for other readers, they will be old news. If you find these tips to be extreme, consider these points:
1)    You have complete control over what you put in your mouth. No one ever ate anything by accident.
2)    If you are looking for fat loss tips, a radical approach to diet is probably necessary because what you are doing must not be working.
3)    These are tips—not the universal answer. I suggest them because they are based on research and have worked for many clients. If something else works for you, that’s great.

Be aware that these tips are based on the assumption that you are strength training and getting as much as physical activity as possible. Just as it is nearly impossible to out-train a bad diet, it’s very difficult to achieve significant fat loss without exercise. The right training program will get you where you want to be faster. This is the second article in a series on tips for body composition. Last week, I posted Top Five Training Tips for Optimal Body Composition. Next week, I will post my five supplement tips for fat loss—check back next Thursday!

The Run Down on Eating for Fat Loss
An essential part of a diet that helps you lose fat, while supporting optimal health and energy, is to eliminate foods that your body has a difficult time processing. Your body may be intolerant of certain foods due to insufficient levels of a specific enzyme. Common food intolerances include gluten, lactose, nuts, fructose, and soy. Many people also find that a food intolerance is complex and better results may come if they eliminate lactose and dairy—meaning even dairy with the lactose removed. The solution is to identify the foods that trip you up and eliminate them.

Do Women Need Chocolate? – The Fitness Retreat

If there is a single food that exemplifies the possibility of a mind-body-food connection, it’s chocolate. It could be said that life is literally like a box of chocolates, as chocolate is commonly associated with love, pleasure and even guilt. And seriously, although women generally tend to crave fruit and bread, my guess is that most women would much prefer receiving a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day than a bag of blueberry muffins.

There is a wealth of evidence that chocolate conveys health benefits due to its high antioxidant content and role in enzyme production. It is being tested as a treatment for high blood pressure and for individuals with cardiovascular disease risk. Chocolate also improves the cells sensitivity to insulin when they are resistant, a trait that leads to diabetes and poor body composition. It appears that in moderate quantities, chocolate really is as healthy as media headlines proclaim.

In its raw form, chocolate is derived from the seed of the cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao), which is native to tropical environments and grows best below the forest canopy. The majority of the chocolate in the world comes from West Africa. After fermentation and drying to produce its raw form (a process that is much simpler than that shown in the Willy Wonka movies), the chocolate is often combined with other ingredients, such as milk and sugar.

Beyond its mouth-watering taste, does chocolate contain ingredients that give it special qualities – qualities that may be good for your body and even your brain? Let’s take a closer look.

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