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

What is clean eating??

There are many health “buzz” words that are being thrown about. There have been many of these circulating throughout the years. One that I am hearing a lot, of late, and find myself using, often is “Clean Eating”. But what exactly is clean eating?? A lot of people think they eat “healthy” but when we actually go through what they are eating we often find some unpleasant surprises. It may be challenging at times to find foods in as ‘whole’ and natural a form as possible but it is possible. And it is completely worth the effort!!

What is ‘clean eating’?

Clean eating means you only eat foods that

  1. healthy

  2. natural and

  3. clean.

“Natural” is a word that many food companies freely use on their labels even when the “foods” are far from being natural. When I use the word ‘Natural’ I mean the food is as close to the way it grew out of the ground or came from the animal as possible.

“Clean” means that the food is free from hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, herbicides, fungicides, additives, preservatives, genetically-modified organisms - basically anything that changes the food and how it would react in our bodies. Pesticides, hormones, chemicals are toxic to our bodies and create a host of problems and illnesses from hormonal imbalances to metabolic syndrome and various types of cancers. All the more reason for you to avoid them!

Foods that are natural and clean, fulfilling the above prerequisites, are truly healthy. Truly nourishing and healing for your body. Eating these foods will increase your energy levels, help you manage your stress better (because your hormones will be in balance) and encourage your body to release excess weight. A healthy body manifests other effects like better immunity and a more radiant appearance!

Clean Eating Food List

  • Lots and lots of organic fruits and vegetables

  • Local-grown fruits and vegetables, whenever possible

  • Grass-fed, pasture-raised beef, dairy and free-range poultry

  • Whole, unrefined grains

  • Gluten-free, unrefined grains

  • Drink ½ your body weight, in ounces, of water every day

  • Plant-based meals - where 50-75% of your meals are vegetables and unrefined grains and 25% is animal protein

  • Do not eat refined, processed carbohydrates, ‘fruit’ or ‘fruit and vegetable’ drinks, energy drinks, ‘diet’ drinks, sodas   

  • Watch your sugar intake (1 tsp = 4 grams)

  • Eat healthy fats in the form of unsalted nuts, seeds, coconut, avocados and cold water fatty fish

  • Cook with coconut oil

  • Use extra virgin olive oil for salads, dressings/sauces - Do NOT cook with this oil

  • Use cooking methods like steaming, baking, grilling, broiling and light sauteeing

This is one ‘diet’ that works! It works because it isn’t about calorie restriction, starving yourself and depriving yourself but about learning what’s in your food, knowing where it comes from and keeping it as close to how mother nature made it as possible. Eliminate the chemicals and heavily processed ‘foods’ and you will eliminate your health problems. For those who are fortunate enough to not have health issues, this type of eating will improve your quality of life and keep you healthy, youthful and vibrant longer! Learn what works best in your body! Can you think of a better way to enjoy your life??  

Better-than-Fried Chicken

1 cup Greek Yogurt

½ cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp spanish paprika

1 tsp himalayan sea salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

1-1 ½ lbs organic chicken breasts

=> Mix the greek yogurt, parmesan cheese and spices together. Coat the organic chicken breasts in the mixture. Place on a baking pan and bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Enjoy!!  

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

5 Ways to be Bloat-free

Everyone wants a flat, toned belly. But for a lot of us there is the issue of bloating to contend with. It really could come out of (seemingly) nowhere but there are triggers - some that apply to everyone and others that are specific to you. I know that if I eat wheat (in the US) I bloat immediately, so I avoid it completely. Thankfully, I’m not missing much because most of the wheat products we have here have 0 (zero!) nutritional benefits and actually do more harm than good to the body. But back to the bloat - for one of my clients it is the combination of wheat, tomato sauce and cheese, pizza. That one is a bummer.. I love pizza!! And so does he. Let’s start with what causes the dreaded bloat.

Foods that Cause Bloating (Reduce/Eliminate these)

  • Fatty or Fried Foods - I know they’re delicious but they are also wreaking havoc on your insides. A rich, fatty, heavy meal causes bloat because fats are the last to be digested. Fats, of any kind, take your body longer to digest. Protein and carbohydrates digest faster.

  • Wheat-based/Gluten Foods - most people have some type of gluten sensitivity or intolerance nowadays. Even if you can digest gluten, the type of wheat that is currently grown is shorter than the wheat grown in the 1950s and also has a high glycemic index. It is worse than sugar. So the bloating it creates is one of the lesser reasons you should steer clear of this food. If you’re curious on this subject read “Wheat Belly” by Dr. William Davis.

  • Dairy Products - if you’re lactose intolerant you know what eating dairy does to you but a lot of people have a milder form of lactose intolerance. This is why it is important to pay attention to how our bodies feel when we eat. If you’re the way I used to be, you’re so busy running around accomplishing that you don’t pay attention to your meals much less how you feel within a couple hours of eating. But your awareness is the key to your good health.

  • Processed (Junk) Foods - junk foods are high in fat and high in sugar which double your chances of experiencing bloating and other intestinal issues like cramping and gas. When your body starts digesting the sugar it works to fuel the bacteria in your gut and that leads to gassiness. The sugar also is one of the first things to be digested and go to the intestines, where they can cause cramping. Add that to the list of reasons to avoid processed foods!

What to eat to be Bloat-free??

  1. Aim for 60-80% veggies! Most of your plate should be fresh or lightly cooked vegetables. In addition to the nutrients, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients in veggies, the fiber in them is what will flush out the old waste and toxins from your body leaving you with a flat (and happy) tummy. Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage are harder for the body to digest so these should be lightly cooked to avoid the bloat.

  2. Eat high quality proteins and grains! Organic eggs, fish, nuts and seed, brown rice, quinoa, beans and legumes are essential for maintaining a healthy body and a flat tummy. Your protein portion should be the size of 1 of your palms if you’re a woman and the size of 2 of your palms if you’re a man. If you engage in regular, strenuous exercise your protein needs will be higher. One thing to keep in mind is that plant-derived proteins are easier for your body to use than animal-derived proteins.

  3. Eat Fruit by itself - fruits that are high in sugar can create bloating in the body, so it is best to eat these by themselves, as a snack in between meals, or before your meal.

  4. Food Combining - each type of food requires its own set of enzymes for digestion and has its own particular time within which it will be digested. For optimal nutrient absorption it is good to keep this in mind. Starches, like brown rice or quinoa, take around 3-4 hours to digest, and should be combined with fresh or steamed veggies. The same for protein, since they take longer to digest (around 5 hours), it is best to help them along by eating them with fresh or lightly cooked vegetables. Strategically combining your foods will help improve digestion, improve nutrient assimilation and leave you with a flatter, healthier tummy.

  5. Eliminate (or reduce) cow’s milk, gluten, sugar and processed foods - for the reasons stated above...these foods cause more harm than good.

These 5 tips are a great place to start you off on your journey to a flat belly and good health. I’ve had great success, personally, by keeping to these guidelines, and have coached my clients through significant changes by combining these guidelines with their respective customized plans. Just keep in mind that good health is a journey not a destination. Be kind to yourself as you embark on these changes and be patient! Rome wasn’t built in a day.    

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

Want to get Healthy? But where to begin??

One of the most frequent questions I get asked by friends and potential clients is where do they start their journey to health & wellness?? It’s a daunting question. There is so much information out there and it often contradicts itself. Then there is the individual aspect of the equation, which is where I would come in. Every person and every body is unique and what works for you may not work for me. What works for you mom or spouse or sibling, may or may not work for you. Health & wellness is a journey that is completely individualized and unique to the person that is embarking on it.

What to do??

Thankfully, there are some good starting points that are pretty universal! Here are some tips to help you get started (and keep you from getting overwhelmed).

  1. Have you eaten your rainbow?? Most people do not get anywhere near to eating what they need in fruits and vegetables! Spinach, swiss chard, artichokes, zucchini, kale, broccoli, asparagus, squash, arugula. All of these are excellent foods in terms of giving your body the nutrition it needs, improving your skin and trimming excess pounds and inches!! **Go for ½ (half) your plate in veggies at lunch and dinner**  

  2. Continuing your ‘rainbow’ of foods - snack on organic fruits like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, apples, blackberries, mangos, pineapples instead of cookies, candies and artificially sweetened crap. These are loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that help your body rejuvenate by improving collagen production and protecting from free-radical damage. They also satisfy your sweet-tooth. **Make these your mid-morning and/or mid-afternoon snacks**

  3. Work on eliminating gluten from your diet! This is a process. Start by recognizing how much you eat and reducing it by half. Continue this reduction until you are off wheat and gluten-containing grains (barley, wheat, rye, spelt). Why?? Gluten disrupts your digestive system, making it hard for you to lose weight/maintain a healthy weight, causes inflammation (which leads to chronic illness and worsens arthritis and auto-immune conditions), causes brain fogginess and lethargy.

  4. Work on curbing sugar addiction. Most people have no idea how much sugar they are eating. It is added to almost anything you can think of. & it is harmful to your health in such levels. Read your ingredients list. 1 gram = 4 teaspoons Start looking over the ingredients, see what the sugar content is and make changes accordingly. The excess sugar in our diets contribute to premature aging and disrupt your hormones, making your body hold on to weight in the midsection and causing your fat cells to grow.

One of my favorite ways to start my day is with this smoothie! It gives me energy and helps me get my dose of fruits and veggies first thing in the morning putting me ahead of the game! It also is very good for keeping your skin looking great!

Super Morning Smoothie

2-3 cups coconut water/almond milk/purified water (in your preferred ratio)

2 large handfuls organic baby spinach

1 cup organic blueberries, frozen
1 cup organic pineapples, frozen

3 tbsp Barlean’s organic Flax, Chia & Coconut Flakes

1 tbsp organic coconut oil

2 tbsp organic almond butter (optional)

*Blend thoroughly, serve and enjoy!

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