Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is made from nutritious, organically grown apples and retains many beneficial components because raw apple cider vinegar is not pasteurized. ACV undergoes two fermentation processes where it produces enzymes and life giving nutrients that make apple cider vinegar the powerhouse it is.

Differences Between Clear Vinegar and Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

Clear vinegar has none of the benefits of raw organic apple cider vinegar. Through its processing and distilling, it’s been stripped of everything beneficial and can be detrimental to your health since it is dead instead of alive.

Only raw organic apple cider vinegar has the “mother of vinegar” that makes the vinegar so beneficial. The “mother” is made up living nutrients and bacteria. You can actually see it settled in the bottom of the bottle like sediment.

What Can Raw Apple Cider Vinegar Do for Me?

Beneficial ingredients in raw apple cider vinegar give it its power to make us feel better, look better and feel energized. Just look at some of the beneficial ingredients in raw apple cider vinegar:

Potassium – helps to prevent brittle teeth, hair loss and runny noses.

Pectin – helps to regulate blood pressure and reduce bad cholesterol.

Malic Acid – gives ACV the properties of being resistant to viruses, bacteria, and fungus.

Calcium – supports strong bones and teeth.

Ash – gives ACV its alkaline property which aids your body in maintaining proper pH levels for a healthy alkaline state.

Acetic Acid – It appears that this acid slows the digestion of starch which can help to lower the rise in   glucose that commonly occurs after meals.

Benefits of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar mixed in 4 ounces of purified water after a meal has been used as a natural remedy for heartburn as a replacement for toxic heartburn medications.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar may help improve bowel irregularity, thereby removing toxins from the body at a faster rate.

Helps clear up skin conditions and blemishes giving a smoother texture and complexion.

Raw Apple Cider vinegar may also help with joint pain and stiffness.

 Apple Cider Vinegar helps to break down fats so that your body can use them rather than store them. For this reason, many diets include ACV in their regimen.

On a small scale, ACV was studied by researchers at Arizona State University. The preliminary study was published in the Diabetes Care journal. It reported that ACV helps reduce levels of glucose.

Raw organic apple cider vinegar is even good for pets. It has been used to help control fleas and even promotes a healthy shiny coat.

As children grow in size and develop muscle mass, they also develop increased strength. These strength improvements are independent of training. In other words, children grow bigger and stronger until full maturity.

For example, the average six-year-old boy can do five press-ups, a 12-year-old boy can do 15 press-ups and 18-year-olds can do 25 press-ups. In contrast, the average six-year-old girl can do five press-ups, a 12-year-old girl can do 12 press-ups and an 18-year-old girl can still only do 12 press-ups. This is the usual pattern of development for boys and girls; they are both similar as young children, but post-puberty the boys' strength development accelerates while the girls reach a plateau.

This diversity between sexes is mostly due to the hormonal changes which occur at puberty. Testosterone, which increases rapidly in boys, programs extra upper-body bone growth and muscular hypertrophy. In contrast, oestrogen, which increases in girls, programs extra pelvic-bone development and increased body-fat storage. These changes mean that boys' strength will increase naturally until 18-20 years, whereas girls' strength, especially in the upper limbs, is unlikely to improve naturally beyond 14 years.

Fiber 'insulation'
Not all the natural development of strength is due to gains in muscle bulk. Strength also improves because of maturation of the neural systems. One of the major changes that occurs throughout childhood is the myelination of the nerve fibers. Myelination, in lay terms, is the 'insulation' of the fibers to allow faster conductivity of the electrical impulse. Full myelination is completed in adolescence, and so until then coordination and reactions will be limited.

There is some evidence to suggest that muscular recruitment also improves with age; adults are able to recruit more motor units when performing maximum efforts, compared to children. In addition, the coordination of synergistic and antagonistic muscles develops with age. For example, a child performing a press-up often has difficulty maintaining a straight back, stable pelvis and stable shoulder position during the up-and-down movement. This is the reason why children often perform press-ups with their bums sticking up, shoulders rounded and hands in front of their heads. It is not until all the stabilising muscle groups are developed and become correctly coordinated with the prime movers that good form can be achieved on bodyweight and free-weight exercises such as the press-up.

Strength training can work
Strength naturally increases with age because of body growth and development of the neuromuscular system, but can strength in children be increased through training? The majority of the existing research provides convincing evidence that it can. One of the most important studies investigating the strength-training potential of young children was completed by Ramsay et al in 1990. They studied the effects of a 20-week strength-training programme on 9-11-year-old boys - specifically, elbow-flexion and knee-extension strength. The training program comprised sessions of three times a week, 3-5 sets per exercise, performed at 8-12 Repetition Maximum intensity. This refers to weights that can only be performed 8-12 times with good form. Therefore, the training programme these boys undertook involved sufficient duration, intensity, volume and frequency to ensure that it would be an effective training dose.

Going back to my studies in Kinesiology with the Ramsay study, I learned that elbow-flexion force increased by 37 percent and knee-extension force increased by 21 per cent in people participating in strength training programs.  In contrast, a non-training control group showed no improvement at all. These are very similar to the scale of improvements that an adult would see after a similar training program. This result confirms what other, earlier studies had also shown - namely, that if intensity, volume, frequency and duration are sufficient, young children can significantly improve their strength by the same relative amount as adults.

But no hypertrophy
Further findings from the Ramsay study are also very interesting. While the boys in the study significantly increased their force production, computerised tomography showed no increase in muscle size in the arms and thighs over the 20-week training period. Thus, by inference, the increases in strength must have been due to improvements in the neuromuscular system. Ramsay et al provided evidence for this by showing that motor-unit activation improved 9-12 per cent after 10 weeks and a further 2-3 per cent by the end of 20 weeks of training. This means that the boys were able to recruit more muscle fibers after training and thus produce more force. It is accepted that in adults strength increases as a result of both hypertrophy and neuromuscular improvements. However, it appears, and other studies support this, that children increase strength in training solely from neuromuscular improvements.

Designing programs
The research describing how a child develops strength, both through natural growth and through training, helps us to design appropriate strength programs for young athletes. Pre-puberty, both boys and girls have similar strength, and at this age children have developing neuromuscular systems. Strength training for pre-pubertal athletes should focus on skills and techniques; since all the improvements from strength training come from neuromuscular development, this is the ideal time to teach coordination and stability. Children should be taught all the big muscle-group, free-weight and bodyweight movements with light loads. For example, power clean, bench press, press-ups and squats. Any child taught these has an advantage because good technique is learned at a young age, which allows for high-intensity training to be performed safely and effectively as the child gets older. During the pre-puberty years, particular attention should be paid to posture and stability, since children need good strength in the trunk muscles to support the body correctly.

After puberty
At puberty, boys benefit from a massive acceleration in strength because of the large increase in testosterone, which leads to muscle hypertrophy. Girls do not enjoy the same gains in strength, with little muscle-mass development post-puberty, especially in the upper body. At 18, girls have 50 per cent of the upper-limb muscle of boys and 70 per cent of the lower limb muscle. Almost all the differences in strength between the sexes is due to differences in muscle mass, and if strength is calculated relative to limb volume, i.e., the force per size of muscle, then both sexes have equal strength. Girls need to compensate for this natural disadvantage by prioritising strength training from puberty onwards, otherwise strength will plateau. Particular attention to strength must be made by girls involved in sports with upper-body components. Strength programs for girls from puberty onwards must be effective, with sufficient frequency, volume and intensity. This is why it makes sense to establish good technique pre-puberty, since from puberty onwards when young athletes need to push weights of 8-12 RM intensity they will already have good technique and enough strength in the stabilising muscles to perform the exercises safely and effectively. Remember, intensity below 12 RM will target muscular strength endurance and not maximum strength development. So if you want children to get stronger, they have to push enough weight just as adults would. I recommend that most female athletes visit the weights room 2-3 times a week from puberty onwards, because it is their lesser maximal strength that is the major factor limiting speed and power in females.

Is strength training bad for children?
Boys enjoy more natural development during puberty and for a longer time afterwards. In fact, their peak gains in strength last for 18 months after their peak gains in size. However, strength training from puberty onwards would still be highly beneficial for boys. Puberty provides a great window of opportunity for them to develop strength through training because of the high testosterone levels. If regular training is maintained, the large possible gains at this time can last into adulthood. (Without regular training, i.e. at least once a week, children show the same detraining effects as adults.) For this reason I would also recommend starting 'adult-like' strength training for boys from puberty, depending on the pre-puberty training status. I reiterate that the aim should be to use 8-12 RM loads safely and effectively with pubertal boys by establishing good technique before the time when high-intensity training needs to begin.

Many coaches and parents believe that strength training is bad for children and even potentially dangerous. For instance, a myth exists that heavy weight-lifting too young will stunt growth. There is little research to suggest that weight training for young children is unsafe - in fact, most of it confirms that weight training is one of the safest exercises they can do. A child is much more likely to be injured on the football pitch, tennis court or running track than in the gym. Weltman et al (1986) specifically studied the effects of heavy strength training on young boys. During the training period, one of the 16 boys suffered a mild muscle strain and none of the boys showed any damage to the growth plates. In fact, strength training in young children will thicken the bones by promoting increased bone mineral density, and do nothing to hinder growth in length. I repeat once more, weight training with heavy loads is very safe if technique is correct and posture and stability are maintained. Poorly performed weight exercises are just as dangerous for adults as for children.

When deciding when to start and progress weight training, it is best to use biological and not chronological age as your guideline; otherwise, certain individuals may be starting too late or too early for optimum development. 

When I began taking weight training seriously, there were days when I felt that I needed an extra boost of energy for my workouts. As the saying goes, "what goes up must come down", and it was Melatonin that helped me relax and enjoy a great nights sleep.

According to Newsweek® magazine Nov, 6th. 1995, - "Melatonin is the all-natural nightcap. It's secreted by the pineal gland, a pea-size structure at the center of the brain, as our eyes register the fall of darkness."

"At night melatonin is produced to help our bodies regulate our sleep-wake cycles. The amount of it produced by our body seems to lessen as we get older. Scientists believe this may be why young people have less problem sleeping than older people."

"Studies suggest that... supplements can hasten sleep and help ease jet lag, without the hazards or side effects of prescription sleeping pills."

Melatonin has many other uses such as:

  • making people feel better
  • strengthening the immune system
  • reducing free radicals in the body
  • an anti-oxidant
  • immno-modulator in cancer
  • delaying sleep-phase disorders
  • combating jet lag.
Tests are still under way so there is much to still be learned about it and its effects on the human body.

According to the article, a typical comment from discussion groups on the Internet is, "'Folks, I've tried it and it's great. It has ...restored my sleep cycle, given me lots of energy.'"

What would lead someone to need melatonin in the first place? In my case, the energy supplements that I take when I am preparing for shows may often leave me with the feeling that I am not able to sleep. For other individuals the situation may be for an entirely different reason. Many drugs have been implicated as causing insomnia. At times, it is difficult to know whether insomnia is due to a medication prescribed for an illness or to the underlying illness itself.

Drugs that may cause insomnia.

  • Alcohol
  • Antihypertensives
  • Antineoplastics
  • Beta blockers
  • Caffeine
  • Corticosteroids
  • Levodopa
  • Nicotine
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Phenytoin (Dilantin)
  • Protriptyline (Vivactil)
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
  • Stimulants
  • Theophylline
  • Thyroid hormone

The hormone melatonin is known as the all-natural nightcap, and is one of dozens sleep aids. As our eyes register the fall of darkness, N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine, or melatonin, is created naturally by the body within the pineal gland of the brain. At night melatonin is produced to help our bodies regulate our sleep-wake cycles. At dawn, the production of melatonin stops. It is heavily regulated by both day-night cycles and seasonal changes. The amount of melatonin produced by our body seems to decrease as we get older. Scientists believe this may be why young people have less problem sleeping than those that are older.

The recommended dosage.
The appropriate dose can vary enormously from person to person. There are 1.5 mg and 3.0 mg tablets available. You will want to start off with a 1.5 mg tablet each night about 30 minutes before bed-time, and work your way to larger doses if needed. Personally I have found that 3.0 mg works fine for me but there are nights when I know that I have to be up in six hours and will take ½ of a 3.0 mg tablet. There is nothing worse the getting breakfast ready feeling like lethargic zombie when you know you slept solidly the night before. With melatonin you should normally wake up well refreshed and full of energy. If you wake up feeling a little tired you should reduce your dosage until you wake up feeling well refreshed. You will not have the hangover effect you may experience with over the counter or prescription sleeping pills.

Possible side-effects.
According to one report featured in Newsweek® magazine, "10 percent of the users said the hormone did nothing for them, and another 10 percent complained of side effects such as nightmares, headaches, morning grogginess, mild depression, and low sex drive. In past studies, researchers have given people up to 600 to 3,000 times the usual doses - without causing any toxicity." As an occasional user of Melatonin over the past 8 years, I must say that it's the intense dreams that you want to be aware of. I know that not every ones dreams are affected but if you want my take, Melatonin can enhance your dreams to where you would never know you are dreaming. This can be very frightening.

Who should avoid it?
  • women who are pregnant or nursing (since no one knows how excessive exposure to the hormone might affect a fetus or infant)
  • people with severe allergies or autoimmune diseases (melatonin could exacerbate such conditions by stimulating the immune system)
  • people with immune-system cancers such as lymphoma or leukemia (for the same reason)
  • healthy children (who already produce it in abundance).
Women trying to conceive should also think twice about taking Melatonin, since high doses can act as a contraceptive. As with any substance introduced into your body, if you have a medical condition you should always consult your physician first before taking melatonin.

Melatonin: your sex life and lifespan.
There is no evidence to support melatonin will improve your sex life. However, a 1995 rodent study suggests that taking small amounts of melatonin on a regular basis may prevent the age-related decline in testosterone levels, allowing men to be more active sexually in their later years.

As for your lifespan, in tests on both rats and mice melatonin caused a significant 20% increase in their lifespan. If melatonin does allow you to live longer and healthier it could do so because melatonin may:
  • reduce free radical damage
  • stimulate an aging immune system
  • protect the cardiovascular system
  • preserve a youthful circadian rhythm
  • stimulate the production of growth hormone

Melatonin and Bodybuilders.
Bodybuilders and fitness enthusiast may find themselves in a state of being over trained. The common side affect of over training is the inability to sleep well at night. Bodybuilders use Melatonin to help them get their full eight hours sleep. Their precious sleep time is when they are recovering from their workouts and growing.

Rolled Oats
Rolled oats can be made with whey protein and flaxmeal in the morning to spike your metabolism with high quality carbohydrates, protein and good fats. The best time to eat rolled oats is in the morning when your body needs carbohydrates for your brain and body to efficiently function throughout the rest of the day.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is perhaps the best thing for your metabolism since sliced rye bread (yes, we know what the saying is). It is in powder format and comes from cows milk. Whey protein is a complete high quality protein which is great for increasing your metabolism because every time you ingest protein your body feels full longer and revs your metabolism.

Almonds are loaded with good fats, fiber and incomplete protein. You can see the complete nutrient profile here. Since almonds have such great essential fatty acids they help your body raise it's metabolism just by ingesting them. Obviously ANY FAT has a high calorie content so be sure to have a few nuts every day. You can mix these up with pine, cashews and walnuts as they also contain a very healthy amount of good fats and antioxidants.

Natural Yogurt 

Natural yogurt contains many pro-biotic cultures that are necessary for a healthy digestive tract. Yogurt also contains a lot of good fats and some protein. Yogurt can be eaten as a mid-morning snack with a whole apple.

Green Tea
Green Tea is perhaps one of the best morning metabolism boosters you can drink. Not only does it help with cancer risk, weight loss, metabolism it also contains caffeine which helps you focus during the morning. Green tea is found in many fat burning products


Beans are loaded with fiber and incomplete protein. Fiber helps keep you feeling full longer which helps prevent any binges and lapses in your meal plan.


Spinach is loaded with antioxidants which help repair damaged muscles and prevent free radicals from doing their damaging effects to your health. Spinach is known for its iron, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. 

Eggs are one of the highest quality protein sources available. Eggs should be part of every ones diet and is perhaps the best food at speeding up the metabolism.

Turkey is one of those lean meats that you should have once or twice a week to switch up your sources of protein. It is a great source of complete protein which helps rev your BMR (basal metabolic rate).

Chicken Breast
Chicken breast should be a staple in anyones diet. It's lean, easy to make and you can find it cheap at the local supermarket. I prefer the boneless, skinless kind because it takes extra time to skin/debone it.

Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter is one of those hidden health foods. People give it a bad rap due to it's high caloric content but it contains great essential fatty acids, lots of fiber and some incomplete protein. Instead of putting it on toast, try it on celery as a snack.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Canola Oil

Extra virgin olive oil and canola oil should be used at ALL TIMES when cooking. Since extra virgin olive oil has a lower flash point (it burns at a lower temperature than most oils) it is sometimes pretty messy to use. These oils contain lots of omega 3's which keep your heart and brain healthy.

Whole grains

Whole grains provide energy that you need throughout the day. Most of the advertised whole grains aren't actually made with Whole Wheat (and with the germ). Make sure that the product that you buy is not enriched either. The more that you increase your insulin levels the better chance you're slowing down that metabolism.


Most people love berries and they're not such a hidden secret anymore. They are jam packed FULL of antioxidants and is probably one of the most important health foods to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep your metabolism going strong. Frozen Raw Raspberries are usually the easiest to purchase from the frozen section of your local supermarket.

Cayenne Pepper

In the past five years, cayenne pepper has been used in fat burners. Why you ask? Well, cayenne has thermagenic (heats up your body) properties. When your body has to cool itself down it requires calories to do so, thus, creating a fire for your metabolism.


Coffee is one of those foods that have been loved and hated by many nutritionists and dieticians. The most recent research about caffeine and coffee suggest many positive benefits which include: Speeding up your metabolism, heart health, increased concentration and many more.


A recent study by Germany researchers suggest that 90 minutes after drinking cold water (H20) will boost your metabolism by 24% over their average metabolism rate. Make sure to drink your water cold. Not only does water keep your body lean it also helps with keeping the flow of nutrients and helps get rid of free radicals. Make sure you're keeping the water cooler nearby.

Lean red meat has also been through a love and hate relationship with many health professionals; but recent research suggests that lean red meat should be ingested once per week. Red meat contains creatine monohydrate which helps your body use more creatine phosphate (ATP) to help you build muscle. Obviously with the more muscle mass the greater your metabolism.

Vegetables are one of those completely needed foods that we NEED to eat to maintain an elevated metabolism. Vegetables contain fiber, vitamins and many essential nutrients which we can't get anywhere else. Make sure to ingest 10-12 servings of fruits and vegetables daily (yes, that's more than the current food pyramid says.

Apples have a low glycemic index which is should be ingested almost daily as a fruit to maintain a healthy diet. Apples contain fiber which helps you feeling full longer, not to mention the slogan "An apple a day keeps the doctor away".

Salmon is probably one of the most important foods you should be eating twice weekly. Right now, the wild pacific salmon is the healthiest fish you can buy. This fish contains loads of omega 3's and other cancer prevention benefits.



    Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.


    December 2012