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

Balanced Hormones, Happy YOU

It’s October and the weather is turning cooler. With October comes a push to increase awareness and support to Breast Cancer (the disease, its survivors and those who are currently battling it) and its charities. A close friend of mine recently got a couple lumps removed that were Stage 1 - which makes the topic of women’s health that much more important to me. Since we are on the topic of women’s health, there are other things us ladies need to aware of. Our bodies are so intimately linked to our hormones that it is even more important for us to keep them in balance. Some of us ‘younger’ sisters don’t think about our hormones unless it is ‘that time of the month’ but it is important for us (too!) to get in touch with our bodies in order to keep ourselves healthy.

Do you know when your hormones are out of whack?? Do you know what can cause it??

Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance

Pre-Menstrual Symptoms                                                                Low Libido

Weight Gain (belly fat)/Digestive Problems/Cravings                 Fatigue

Insomnia                                                                                            Mood Swings

Depression & Anxiety                                                                      Foggy Memory

Endometriosis                                                                                   Fibrosis

Vaginal Dryness                                                                               Hot Flashes & Night Sweats

That’s a lot of symptoms right?? And there are a lot of things that can throw off our balance. Skipping a meal. Stress. Nutrient Deficiencies (which are more common than we might think.) Medications. Birth Control Pills. Environmental pollutants. Toxins. Chemicals in our food, skincare products etc. It’s A LOT. BUT there are some habits you can get into to help your body maintain a happy, healthy balance!! Now, is not the time to give up and throw in the towel! Instead…

Start by reducing/eliminating these:

  • Sugar - this is a tough one because there is sugar even in places we would think there isn’t any!! But you can kick this habit! =>Start by becoming aware of how much sugar you are consuming daily (pay attention for 1 week) and the following week, start by cutting your usuals by half. Continue until you are down to nothing or very little. **NOTE - “Sugar-free” and “Low-Sugar” or any variation of that theme is NOT the way to go! To avoid disease we need to start reducing the chemicals we eat!

  • Wheat/Gluten - gluten is a protein in wheat and a few other grains that causes inflammation in the body and disrupts our hormones. Both inflammation and hormone disruption are the things we want to avoid. =>Start by eliminating white/‘whole wheat’ bread (the grains used in these are not ‘whole’ grains but are highly refined). Opt for Ezekiel/Manna bread and Brown Rice/Quinoa/Black Bean Pasta Noodles. Kelp Noodles are also a great option or you can make noodles out of Zucchini and other squashes!

  • Soy - whether it is isolated soy protein, soybean oil, soy milk, tofu or any of the other soy-based ‘cheeses’, all of it is full of toxins and carcinogens. Soy is high in phytoestrogens which mimic estrogen in our bodies. All the excess estrogen from these foods cause estrogen dominance which is the leading cause of breast cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, infertility and low libido. Soy is also a powerful goitrogen (thyroid suppressant) and contains phytates, enzyme inhibitors, that block nutrient absorption. =>If you must eat Soy, opt for fermented soy products like miso, tempeh, natto or a naturally fermented soy sauce (tamari).

What to Eat for Balanced Hormones??

  1. Clean Protein - wild salmon and other wild-caught cold-water fatty fish; beans (always soaked 6-8 hours prior to cooking) and lentils; organic pastured-raised beef, chicken, turkey, etc; nuts (soaked/sprouted) and seeds; organic pasture-raised eggs (yolk and all!); quinoa.

  2. Healthy Fats - avocados, raw butter/ghee, coconut oil, nuts and seeds.

  3. Antioxidant-rich Vegetables - dark green veggies, brightly colored vegetables and even starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, various squashes, organic beets, artichokes, yucca and turnips.

  4. Healing Herbs and Spices - cumin, ginger root, cayenne pepper, ceylon cinnamon, turmeric and garlic and onions. **When you are using raw garlic let it sit for 15-20 minutes once you chop it to allow all the enzymes to be fully activated and be careful not to burn it!!

It’s a simple list but it is a great starting point. A healthy body means balanced hormones, a healthy weight, bright and clear skin, increased energy and many other benefits (psst… increased immunity too!). Fear isn’t and shouldn’t be a motivator but many times we are driven by our fear of being predisposed to certain illnesses. What if our motivation were to live a fuller, happier life? Improved quality of life - that’s my motivation for myself and my growing client-family.  

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 Exotic SuperFoods

In my last post I was talking about superfoods and shared 5 superfoods that are common in our part of the world and excellent additions to our diets. In this post I will share 5 additional superfoods that are excellent for your health and wellbeing and tell you a little what they do that makes them so good for you!

What is a “SuperFood”??

A superfood is defined as a food that is exceptionally nutrient dense. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals.

5 “Exotic” Superfoods

  1. Chia seeds - are a meso-american warrior food! The Aztec warriors would carry chia seeds with them when they went off into battle. Chia seeds are a complete protein rich in fiber, potassium, iron, manganese, calcium, phosphorus. They are also rich in Omega 3s, Omega 6s and antioxidants like vitamin C. They have the capacity to absorb approximately 10x their weight in water which serve to remove toxins and impurities, cleaning out your digestive system and boosting your immune system! All this from very tiny seeds! =>Add them to your organic greek yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, salads etc.

  2. Raw, Organic Cacao - is the original chocolate and yes, it is a superfood. In its raw, pure, unadulterated form it is rich in antioxidants, iron, chromium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, vitamin C, phosphorus and more! It is also rich in tryptophan, a powerful mood enhancer, that is essential in the production of serotonin. =>Raw organic cacao nibs or powder can be added to your smoothies, juices, chia pudding, oatmeal, etc and you can make delicious raw desserts with it too!

  3. Maca - one of my favorite superfoods. Maca is a Peruvian superfood that is rich in vitamins B1, B2, C & E and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and iron. It also contains traces of zinc and selenium. Maca is an adaptogen and is excellent at balancing hormones. It is great for women with menstrual issues, PMS symptoms, fertility (in men and women), menopausal symptoms and lack of libido. Maca is also excellent for helping one manage stress and conditions such as anemia, fatigue, poor memory, tuberculosis, depression and malnutrition. =>Raw, organic maca powder can be added to your smoothie, yogurt, anything with raw cacao powder (they work well together), desserts and juices.

  4. Hemp seeds - are a complete protein source and are rich in Omega 3s, 6s and 9s which are all essential for brain function and beautifying for the skin. Hemp seeds are rich in minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, potassium, sodium, silicon, copper and others. They contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids needed to maintain a healthy human life. =>Hemp seeds can be eaten as a snack or added to your salads, salad dressings or smoothies and raw hemp protein powder is an excellent protein source for athletes and can be used in smoothies, shakes or juices. Hemp milk is an excellent, and healthier, milk substitute.

  5. Coconut - whether you eat the meat, oil or drink the water the health benefits are numerous. Coconut improves digestion and aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. It is a powerful anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal which helps support a healthy immune system. It improves the utilization of blood sugar and can lessen the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Coconut supports healthy hormone production and help increase metabolism. Coconut water is excellent for hydration. =>Always cook with coconut oil, organic preferably. It is one of the few oils that doesn’t turn rancid at high heats. Eating 1 tablespoon (1 tsp if solid) of coconut oil first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, helps boost your metabolism encouraging your body to burn fat. Add coconut oil to your fruit and veggie smoothies. Coconut meat can be used in desserts, smoothies or as a snack.           

There you have it! These are the 5 superfoods that I recommend adding to one’s diet despite their exotic origins. The health benefits from these are powerful and they work well together. A smoothie with coconut oil, raw cacao powder, and raw maca powder gives your body energy, boosts your immune system, protects your body from free-radical damage, balances your mood and hormones. You can even add chia seeds and hemp protein powder to boost that same smoothie to up your protein (and the health benefits). How does it get better than that??

My Favorite Superfood Smoothie concoction??

Green Berry Super Smoothie

3 organic kale leaves, destalked

1 cup organic blueberries, fresh or frozen

1 cup organic strawberries, fresh or frozen

1 tbsp organic coconut oil

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp raw maca powder

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

2-3 tbsp organic hemp powder or hemp seeds

Purified water/unsweetened almond milk/coconut water - as much as needed for your preferred consistency

=>Blend well and drink up!!

This is one of my favorite ways to start my day. It is tasty and loaded with nutrients! If it’s too ‘green’ tasting, add some more berries. Your body will thank you!  

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

Boost Energy & Rejuvenate your Body with Maca

I first heard about Maca during a presentation on Raw Foods by David Wolfe at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. As a result, I started reading up on superfoods in David Wolfe's book "Superfoods" and I incorporated Maca into my morning smoothies. I immediately noticed that on the days when I would make my smoothies with maca I would feel more focused and energetic. I also noticed that I was calmer, even in the face of the day to day stresses of life. I was handling things much better (which for a 'fiery' Latina is a good thing :)). Noticing the first hand results I started feeding my boyfriend maca too & I started telling my mom about it. Gotta spread the good news right??

What is Maca??

It’s a root that has been cultivated in the high altitudes of the Peruvian Andes for around 2,600 years. It is found in the most barren and inhospitable part of the Andes, which gives the root its character and properties. The ancient warriors of the Amazon jungle domesticated maca and later the warriors of the Inca empire would eat this root before entering battle in order to make them stronger and increase their stamina; after battle these warriors were prohibited from using maca, to protect the women from ‘excessive sexual desires of men’.

Maca has been used, medicinally, in South America to enhance fertility in humans and animals for centuries. Maca is a superfood that is categorized as an adaptogen, ‘which means it has the ability to balance and stabilize the body’s glandular-hormonal system, nervous system, cardiovascular system and musculature.’1 Maca boosts the immune system, increases stamina and energy, increases oxygen in the blood, supports the thyroid, endocrine system and the adrenals and it increases fertility and libido. That’s a lot of information..I know. But what is most important for you to take away from that is that it heals your body on all levels, allowing it to adapt to the stresses of modern life, keeping  you younger and healthier, longer. There is so much more I want to share with you but for the sake of brevity I will tell you this: It is rich in many vitamins and minerals and improves a variety of conditions.

Look for Maca in the following forms:

  • Dried, powdered maca root

  • Dried, powdered maca root capsules

  • Maca varieties are black, yellow, red

  • Dried superfood formulas containing maca

  • Maca chocolate bars, treats and energy bars

  • Liquid maca concentrates

  • Roasted Maca

How to use Maca?

You can use maca in your smoothies, in capsule form, in your favorite tea or nut milk or coffee, even as part of a raw dessert or dish. It is very versatile and is a great emulsifier too. Just be sure to start with small amounts - 1 tablespoon a day is a good start.

Rejuvenating Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened almond milk, organic

1 cup goji purified water (include the berries)**

1 cup blueberries

½ packet organic Açaí, frozen

1 tbsp organic coconut oil

1 tbsp raw maca powder

1 tsp goji berry powder (optional)

1 tsp camu-camu powder (optional)

**Bring purified water to a boil and toss in 2 tbsp of goji berries and allow to cool.

Place ingredients in blender and mix thoroughly. Serve and enjoy!

If you found this information please feel free to share the link with your friends or to ask comment below or ask me any burning Qs! The better informed people are about their health and wellbeing the better a society we can create! Or you can schedule a complimentary, Self-discovery Session with me at

https://www.timetrade.com/book/B6X4N


Resource:

1 - Wolfe, David. Superfoods. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 2009. Print