Fight Stress with Food!

Who doesn’t have to deal with stress?? Stress is such an everyday part of life that most of us often joke about how ‘stressed out’ we are. Whether you are stressed out over work or the unexpected bill or the upcoming holidays. All of these are common stress triggers. For me the stress bomb hit me full force yesterday - an unexpected pressing matter had to be resolved and completing an application for a new apartment. Moving and finances. I’m sure many of you can relate. I found myself becoming short and irate very quickly and breathing heavier normal.

Thankfully, I am aware of my body and I started questioning myself, practicing deep breathing and thinking about what foods would support my adrenals and help calm my stress. These are all things that are within your reach to! Whether it is an important work meeting or a family function or finances you can nourish your body to better manage stress.

  1. Resist the tendency to reach for unhealthy foods when you are beginning to feel stressed instead reach for foods that help relieve stress and anxiety.

  2. Go for grass-fed, organic protein sources - these contain the amino acid tryptophan which can affect serotonin levels, also known as the ‘happiness hormone’. When serotonin levels are low you can experience moodiness and depression. Nuts like almonds, pecans and walnuts also contain tryptophan.

  3. Choose foods that are rich in Iron - tired often?? This can be a sign of iron-deficiency (anemia) and lead to depression. Choose organic grass-fed eggs and beef, wild salmon and shellfish and vegetables like kale, spinach, collards and broccoli.

  4. Eat food rich in vitamin B-12 - a vitamin essential for proper neurological function and the production of red blood cells. Eat plenty of grass-fed liver and beef, shellfish like shrimp, scallops and clams, fish like wild salmon and sea vegetables like kelp and chlorella.

  5. Choose a quality vitamin D3 supplement or get 15 minutes of sunshine 3 times/week - vitamin D deficiency is quite common given how often we either avoid the sun or slather on sunscreen; but being deficient in vitamin D has been linked to chronic fatigue, muscle pain and depression.

  6. Eat foods rich in Magnesium - which is an important mineral used in hundreds of enzyme reactions in the body. Eat lots of dark leafy green vegetables like spinach and chard, almonds, pecans and walnuts, seeds like flax, pumpkin and sunflower and cacao (or real chocolate :).

Stress-Free Smoothie

2 cups organic almond milk

1 large handfuls organic baby spinach

1 1/2 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 banana, ripe & a little spotty

1 tbsp almond butter

2 tbsp raw cacao powder, organic

1 tbsp raw maca powder, organic

=> Blend until desired consistency is reached and enjoy! :)

 

Eating a diet rich in these foods will properly support your body and help you manage stress better. I have upped my intake of chlorella and my super greens, as well as a healthy amounts of grass-fed, organic eggs and meat and some nuts and seeds as a snack. The good thing about eating like this is that other aspects of your health will improve too; improved cardiovascular health, balanced blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy weight to name a few! Food can and will affect your mood, so be wise in your choices!   

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

10 Worst Foods for Longevity

Longevity. Longevity is something we are all seeking. People are now living longer than they ever have in the entire history of humanity. But what does that longevity mean if the ‘golden’ years of life are spent battling dementia or Alzheimer’s? If you can’t enjoy your life mentally and physically, what is the point of living longer for the sake of living longer?? You can protect your cells and body to be able to have a happy and full life in your later years. The added bonus of healthy eating and living is beautifying for your skin and body too! And it all comes down to you getting to know your body and how to nourish it properly. It isn’t about calories or fat-free or sugar-free or any of those other restrictions that traditional diets or the media tells you is the latest and greatest thing. It is about you! You are a unique individual and the proper nutrition that your body needs is unique to you! Although...there is a basic starting point for us all:

Top 10 Worst Foods for Longevity

  • Sweetened Dairy Products - ice cream, frozen yogurt, low-fat ice cream etc, sugar acts on your brain like cocaine and excess amounts of sugar in your diet over time have been linked to various ailments.

  • Trans-fat Containing Foods - commercially baked goods, margarine, shortening, fast foods etc

  • Donuts - refined white sugar, refined white flour and fried - talk about a triple-threat...

  • Sausage, Hot Dogs and Luncheon Meats - filled with nitrites, nitrates and various other fillers and chemical preservatives - linked to heart disease and increased risk for cancer.

  • Smoked Meat, Barbecued Meat and Conventionally Raised Red Meat - cooking meats at high temperatures creates carcinogens (HCAs & PAHs) which can lead to cancer and conventionally raised meats are pumped full of antibiotics and hormones, which are best avoided completely.

  • Fried Foods - the process of frying starchy foods creates acrylamides, which are toxic and linked to advanced aging of the skin and cancer.

  • Highly Salted Foods - processed foods and ready-to-eat meals often have high amounts of refined salt which can increase your risk of heart disease and stomach cancer.

  • Soda - is unhealthy on so many levels...High Fructose Corn Syrup has been shown to disrupt the hormones that signal when to stop eating, leading to overeating and the health issues associated with that.  

  • Refined White Sugar - highly processed and adds no nutritional value. Cancer researchers have found that ‘sugar feeds cancer’.

  • Refined White Flour - highly processed and has no nutritional value. Refined white flour also turns into sugar quickly in your body; overconsumption of which has been linked to various chronic illnesses, from diabetes to heart disease to cancer.

No pressure right?? I’m sure many (or some) of the foods that are your guilty pleasures are on this list. They were on mine!! There are healthy alternatives to cold cuts - and I don’t mean anything containing soy. Go for organic, no antibiotics, no hormones, nitrate-free and nitrite-free - when it comes to choosing cold cuts. The less fillers and chemicals the better!! Swapping soda for water will help your body on many levels - hydration will improve your skin and aid with detoxification. I’m not a sugar/sweets-craving person but for those I recommend retraining your palate. It is best to go for fruits and use stevia or raw honey in your tea or coffee. As for the grilling - grill smaller cuts of organic, grass-fed meat and turn them often to limit production of carcinogens. You can enjoy your food and nourish your body properly! Just be aware and get informed. Start making good choices and see what it can do for your health and wellbeing!  

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

"Eat Right"?? Dispelling Common Mistakes

What is WRONG with this picture??

What is WRONG with this picture??

There is something wrong with this picture... Yes!! This picture => 

I read magazines and every once in awhile I see them promoting certain foods that are NOT good for you. I have a particular issue with this magazine because it is a ‘fitness and health’ magazine. I would think their staff would be better informed...but who knows what they were thinking when they approved this info-graphic. The other thing I have an issue with is that just by quick glance there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with this information. But there is.

I’ll explain where I am coming from when I say this. I am a Certified Health Coach who has personally experienced what many of my clients have experienced - they think they are healthy and on the surface they are! BUT!! They still are not achieving the results they want and should be achieving!! Which is where I come in. I help them get to the bottom of what is going on with their bodies and many of the times the choices they are making, which they think are “healthy” because of the (mis)information they’ve received, in reality are doing more harm than good.

Let’s go in!

Canola Oil - NOT A GOOD OIL TO CONSUME!! “Vegetable-based oils”? Not the thing to recommend. These oils are highly processed and in most cases come from genetically modified seeds. Ever heard of a Canola plant?? No, right. Because there is no plant called ‘canola’, from whose seeds the oil would be made. Canola (Rapeseed), Corn and Soybean oils are highly inflammatory and have been associated with inflammatory health problems including heart disease and cancer. Precisely the diseases you are looking to avoid!

=>DON’T USE CANOLA OIL!! GO FOR COCONUT OIL or GHEE for cooking purposes

What it SHOULD look like

What it SHOULD look like

Whole Grains - Why are they specifying “whole grains” and misleading you to think that white bread is a whole grain?? White bread and ‘whole wheat’ bread are NOT whole grains! I will give them some credit for having ‘rye, barley and oats’ specified but it is in small print and images speak louder than fine print.

=>WHITE and ‘WHOLE WHEAT’ BREAD ARE NOT A WHOLE GRAINS! GO FOR SPELT, EZEKIEL, MANNA (Barley, Quinoa, Oats are good too) Look for minimally processed breads!

Fruits - they say to eat ‘at least 1 whole fruit’ and ‘1 ½ cups of berries’ but you really should be eating 2-3 fruits a day. Apples and pears are great options but you need to be aware that apples are one of the fruits with the heaviest pesticide residues.

=>GO ORGANIC for the FRUITS you will EAT WHOLE like BERRIES, Blueberries or Strawberries, and APPLES and PEARS

Vegetables - they are encouraging you to eat ‘1 ½ cups of a variety of vegetables a day’ but unfortunately their suggestion falls significantly short of what we all should be eating a day. Considering the day to day stresses and how unbalanced our lives are...our bodies need ample vegetables to help keep it functioning optimally and vegetables give us energy!! Who doesn’t need energy?? (They also encourage weight loss ;))

=>GO for 2 cups of Vegetables per meal (ORGANIC, if they are on the “Dirty Dozen” list) with your Lunch AND Dinner 

Fish - a great suggestion which should’ve been better executed. “3 or more servings a week” is a good suggestion. But, farmed (conventional) salmon is a highly polluted fish, as are most farmed fish. If you are choosing a farmed fish you want to choose sustainably farmed fish. You are choosing fish for their health benefits, when they are traditionally farmed they are pumped with antibiotics and chemicals (which is not what you want in your body).

=>GO WILD, whenever possible! IF NOT, choose SUSTAINABLY FARMED FISH

=>NEVER eat ‘Low-fat’ Dairy - anything ‘low fat’ or ‘non-fat’ (etc) is a Highly Processed ‘Food’

I know it’s a lot of information I just gave you but there’s so much more I didn’t even touch upon!! The things I want to leave you with, for your continued, improved health and well-being are the arrows above and to always do your research. Don’t read something in a magazine and take it as gospel. (or even this post - feel free to ask me questions!!) Choose your sources for the information that will go into making every cell in your body very, VERY, carefully.

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

 

5 Metabolism Boosting Foods

Let’s face it, one of the first things to go as one ‘ages’ is your metabolism. It’s one of the main complaints I hear when clients come to see me! Some people have abused their body through pills, prescription or otherwise, crazy diets, junk food (a.k.a - processed foods) etc. Other people have - inadvertently - done damage to their bodies by eating foods that are supposedly ‘healthy’ - i.e. non-fat, low fat, sugar-free, zero calorie, fat free etc.

The good news?? You can heal your body! You can get your metabolism (and yourself) back into ‘fighting’ shape! That is the wonderful and miraculous thing about your body - it is fully capable of healing itself.

Your mission - should you choose to accept it - is to provide your body with the fuel it needs which is nutrient-dense nourishment. Foods that are whole and unprocessed, free from antibiotics, hormones and pesticides are what you should seek out in order to restore your body to optimum health and wellbeing.

Metabolism Boosting Foods

  1. Red Beans - dried, red beans have a lot of fiber that help keep you fuller, longer and help you store less fat and B vitamins and zinc. They also contain a ‘resistant’ starch that helps repair the lining of your intestine and has been shown to help lower insulin levels. => Be sure to soak them for 6-8 hours in room temperature water before cooking.

  2. Garlic & Onions - work to stimulate production of glutathione, a master antioxidant. Glutathione is helpful on many levels but one of the most important ones is that it helps the liver remove hormone-disrupting chemicals from the body. Garlic is also helpful in lowering overall cholesterol and raising the good cholesterol.

  3. Broccoli & Cauliflower - cruciferous vegetables like these are nutrient-rich and low in calories. The high water and fiber content help keeps you satisfied and works to increase your body’s fat burning capabilities. => Do not overcook these - you want them to retain some firmness - in order to retain their nutrients. Steam or sautee lightly.

  4. Green Tea - overusing caffeine can damage one’s metabolism and cause hormonal imbalances so switch from coffee to green tea. Green tea has tons of antioxidants, boosts fat metabolism and has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. => Do not consume more than 400 mg of caffeine per day (roughly 2 strong, 8 oz cups of coffee). Finish your last cup prior to 12pm (it has a long half-life) so your body can digest it by the time bedtime rolls around.

  5. Strawberries & Raspberries - are not only a good way to curb that sweet tooth but are also loaded with nutrients and antioxidants like anthocyanins, which some studies have shown to stop individual fat cells from getting larger. In addition, they also cause fat cells to release release adiponectin, which reduces inflammation, helps reverse insulin and leptin resistance and helps lower blood sugar levels. =>Always go organic when it comes to berries. Choose fresh or frozen. Never processed or in processed foods.

Action Plan

Start by swapping out some of the foods you eat with these and you will soon see and feel the difference. Work on avoiding processed and packaged foods. Replace sweetened drinks and juices with water.

In our society that is overly obsessed with physical ‘beauty’ it may seem counterintuitive to say this but I am going to say it anyway! Your physique is only one aspect of your health! And it is the least important!! How you feel - that’s what matters. Not every one of us is meant to be a size 2. But we can ALL look our personal best and feel amazing!!  Want to learn more about boosting your metabolism?? Register for my upcoming Pre-Holiday Metabolism Boost Webinar

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

 

Obsessed with the ## on the scale??

As I embarked on my journey to being healthy, I tried just about every cleanse and diet out there under the mistaken belief that the number on the scale is what mattered. The more I learned, the more I changed my eating and lifestyle habits but more importantly I learned how to listen to what my body needed and how to love my body. That is what I show my clients, friends and family how to do.

It isn’t about the number on the scale. You can be skinny and unhealthy. There are people that have the ‘appearance’ of being physically fit, they are active, look good but they get a heart attack at a relatively young age. I’m sure some of you have heard about this happening and have been puzzled by it. I know I was! There are people that are heavier and their doctors say they are A-Ok. And then there are the people that are people that have metabolic disorders, diabetes or pre-diabetes, cardiovascular issues etc. Disease is a continuum - this is one of the major points I took away from one of my lectures during my training to become a health coach. Therefore, it is important to develop healthy habits. How you nourish your body every meal and every day matters.

Some things you can start implementing now:

  1. Swap sodas, energy drinks and ‘juices’ with water. Aim for drinking ½ your body weight in ounces every day.

  2. Look at the sugar content in what you drink and eat. 4 grams = 1 teaspoon Choose foods and drinks with little or no added sugars.

  3. Go for fresh fruits and vegetables. ½ your plate in greens and/or veggies. Fruits can be a healthy snack.

  4. Choose healthy proteins - antibiotic-free, hormone-free, free-range, grass fed. Eating protein fills you and helps your body build lean muscle. More lean muscle means your body burns more fat and calories.

  5. Eat healthy fats - nuts like almonds and walnuts, seeds like flax, sunflower, chia seeds. Cook in coconut oil and use Extra Virgin olive oil for salads.

  6. Eliminate refined carbohydrates and processed foods. Anything that is low-fat, no-fat, sugar-free etc has chemicals. The chemicals in refined and processed foods encourage your body to store fat, creates hormonal imbalances among other unhealthy effects.

There is a ton of information out there about the food supply and the effects of artificial chemicals and additives have on the body. If I got into it you might get bored but I gave a quick insight on the ‘why’ and ‘how’ when it comes to creating a healthy relationship with the food that nourishes your body. Remember that what works for one person doesn’t work for another. Healthy eating is a very individualized thing. So experiment, research and start implementing the tips above. Pretty soon you will be enjoying the benefits of having, and maintaining, a healthy weight, increasing your energy levels and creating harmony and balance in your life. And you will enjoy good health and an improved quality of life. How does it get better than that?? 

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N

6 Fat Burning Foods

The one thing that all my clients have in common, be they male or female, is that they are looking to lose fat. The extra pouch they are carrying around? They want it gone! Like, yesterday!! Now, they want their extra inches gone for aesthetic reasons but there are some important health reasons to get rid of those inches of excess.

Having excess fat around the mid-section has been correlated to higher occurrences of hypertension, heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. It is a sign of chronic inflammation and that is not good for your health and wellbeing. As if your health is not enough of an incentive to lose those excess pounds and inches, a strong & fit core also protects you from injuries that may occur during the course of your daily routine, strengthens your back and improves your sex life! How’s that for motivation? That certainly got me motivated and since I changed my diet and lifestyle I lost a good 4 inches around my waist. And I’ve maintained it! How much can you lose?

To get your started, here are some foods whose intake you should increase in order to release the extra weight and inches.

  1. Green Tea - I’m sure you’ve heard that green tea is good for you. It contains antioxidants, catechins, that can stimulate metabolism and stimulate the body to burn abdominal fat.  

  2. Greek Yogurt - packed with protein which takes your body longer to digest keeping you satisfied longer. A bonus is that your body burns more calories while digesting protein than carbs. Stick to plain yogurt and use fresh berries or a little raw honey to sweeten it but avoid flavored greek yogurt.

  3. Quinoa - is a gluten-free grain that has 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber in a one cup serving. Loaded with vitamins and minerals it is nutritious and satisfying; and can be eaten with lean protein or as part of an arugula salad.

  4. Raw Vegetables - cucumbers, carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers make a great snack that keeps your tummy full and happy and is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that give your body the nutrition it needs. And they are crunchy, so choose to snack on these instead of chips. Add a little sea salt, olive oil and cayenne pepper or some almond butter for some added taste.

  5. Organic Eggs - low in calories and a good source of high-quality protein. Studies have shown that eating protein in the morning will help keep you full longer vs. a carb-heavy breakfast, making it less likely for you to reach for a mid-morning snack.

  6. Berries - are high in water and fiber keeping you satisfied and they will also satisfy your sweet tooth for a fraction of the calories of cookies or brownies! The added benefit is that they are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients.

I would eat one of these first, before you eat your ‘regular’ meal, or you can start by replacing one of your meals with a combination of these foods. Get creative. Experiment! And enjoy yourself!

Berry Kale Smoothie

1 organic kale leaf, center stalk removed

½ organic blueberries

½ organic strawberries

1 tbsp Pure Synergy Green Superfood Powder

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 cups purified water (add more/less depending on your taste)

Blend well and bottoms up!

If you found this post helpful, feel free to share it with your friends and share your progress too! & if you’re up for it - schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N


Decoding the Food Labels on Produce

I remember being curious about what those little numbers on my apples meant when I was a little girl. So I thought I would share some information about these numbers. After reading up about our food supply those numbers are quite important if we want to stay healthy. Now, these numbers can be fluff...some things can be manipulated by the ‘powers that be’; but it is still good to be aware of their meaning as this allows us to be better able to make educated decisions.

I make it a point to know what I use as nourishment for my body. And the more I learn about fruits, veggies, organic vs non-organic, superfoods, etc...the more I make choices that will not only help me look and feel great but will also help keep my body and mind as healthy as possible. Like all of us, I want a happy, healthy and long life and our food truly does have the power to strengthen and rejuvenate our bodies.

There are three types of numbers that indicate what category our produce is in.

Conventionally Grown Produce - These have codes that are 4-digits long and begin with the number 4. These fruits and veggies have been grown with the run of the mill, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are commonplace commercially farmed produce. For the Dirtiest of these check out this article about it.

Organic Produce - have codes that are 5-digits long and begin with the number 9. These fruits and veggies are grown according to organic standards and are not genetically-modified.

Genetically Modified Produce - have codes that are 5-digits long and begin with the number 8. These cannot be organic and are grown from genetically modified seeds.

Why should you care if your produce is Genetically Modified??

Research has not shown these foods to be safe for human (or animal) consumption. Allergies, food sensitivities, and increasing our risk of cancer are other reasons we should avoid ingesting anything that is genetically modified. If your health isn’t high enough on your list of priorities, think of your children. Children face the greatest risk from these genetically modified foods and pesticides.  

The major food companies, however, know that most well-informed consumers will choose not to purchase something that is ‘labeled’ as a Genetically Modified food, so they can choose not to label their products as such in order to mislead consumers. That being said, in the US there are several foods that are most likely Genetically Modified, if they are not organic. These are the foods that should be purchased organic in order to protect yourself and your family from the health risks associated with these Genetically Modified foods.

**Wheat

**Corn

**Soy

**Papayas (grown in Hawaii)

**Zucchini & Yellow Squash (some - but it’s better to be on the safe side regarding this)

**Dairy (from cows treated with rbGH)

Arm yourself with information about your food to protect the health of yourself and your loved ones!

Schedule a Self-discovery Session with me at  https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N