Are you hooked on these foods??

Think you have an ‘addictive personality’ because you crave sweets and unhealthy foods?? What if it wasn’t you?? What if it is the chemicals in those foods that you’re addicted to?? More and more research is coming out about the compounds in sweets and processed foods that stimulate your appetite and create dependence. It’s even in foods like cheese. This is the stuff that the big food companies (that mass-produce 80%+ of the food on your grocery store shelves) know and use to keep you spending your money buying their 'foods' (crap) and deprive you of your health. So do you want to take control of your diet and your health?? Then read on!

There are 5 categories of foods that contain substances called exorphins. These chemicals, once in your body, have an opioid-like effect - which can lead to overconsumption (because it feels so darn good to eat these), addiction/dependency and withdrawal-like symptoms (if you quit these cold-turkey)! Ever notice how you are more irritable a couple hours after having the sugar-laden donut or frappucino??

  1. Cheese - I know, you hate me.. But cheese and milk contain a protein called casein, which when digested become casomorphins. Casomorphins are the chemical (in cheese) that have that opioid-like effect mentioned above. That’s why it is so hard to go vegan!! I know I had a very hard time letting go of my cheese! But I weaned myself off ever so gently and now I eat cheese maybe once a week and can go weeks sans fromage (without cheese). You can get there too! The trick is to wean yourself off in small steps.

  2. Meat - I didn’t see this one coming and perhaps neither did you! But the blood in meat contains proteins (albumin, hemoglobin, gamma globulin) that activate opioid receptors! Et voilà, you’re craving more! In studies it has been found that people treated with opiate blockers reduced their consumption of all types of meat. Interesting stuff!  

  3. Rice and Wheat - I knew about wheat, but rice caught me by surprise! Apparently both of these grains have proteins that have the same drug-like effects on your body. But wheat has 5 types of gluten exorphins, while rice has only 1, albumin. This could explain why one is more like to munch on the breadbasket more so than on the rice served with your entree.

  4. Sugar and Fat - please note, when I speak of ‘fat’ I am not speaking of healthy fats like the one’s in coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds. I speak of trans-fats and corn oil, canola oil, margarine, processed, refined oils is what I am referring to. Sugar is addictive and so are fatty foods. So together, the combination is even more addictive!

What can you do about it??      

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to lessen one’s addiction to foods that do more harm than good. I am a strong advocate of eating right for one’s body and lifestyle. This is the way to health and wellbeing. Eating right means eating nutritionally-rich foods. (If the box is ‘telling’ how ‘nutritious’ it is.. here’s a hint - It isn’t!! Stay away)

  • Limit (or Eliminate) the amount of processed foods in your home/office This helps you in 2 ways: it removes the temptation of these ‘foods’ and encourages you replace them with foods like beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, whole grains like quinoa and brown rice and lean proteins (this last one should only be one fist in size for the ladies and two fists for the gents - more if your workout regularly and intensely)

  • Breakfast IS the most important (and biggest meal of the day) Here’s why - your body has been fasting all night and now that you’re going to engage all part’s of your body - brain, digestion, your breathing will increase, etc - your body NEEDS fuel! Eat gluten free oats with berries and almond butter or a smoothie or try a chia seed pudding or a cage-free egg omelette with spinach.

  • Engage family and friends for support in keeping you honest Let your friends and family know you want to get healthy and seek out their help. Surrounding oneself with people that encourage healthy habits goes a long way to help us keep ourselves on the right track.

  • Rely on your body’s endorphins, above all else Your body is an amazing organism. It can produce its own feel-good chemicals. A good, solid workout. Spending time with your honey. Enjoying quality time with your family and friends. Relaxing on the couch with your furry friend. A soothing bubble bath. All these help your body produce endorphins. So find things that make you feel happy and appreciative and let your body do its work.

Just remember to make changes gradually, especially if you’re addiction involves cheese, sugar and fat. As you limit (and eliminate) these from your diet, replacing them with nutritious, whole foods, unprocessed and unmessed around with, you will see your skin clear up, your hormones balance out, have more energy and enjoy a flatter belly and a leaner physique. 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

Gluten-free?? or Not Gluten-free??

A couple Mondays ago now, I decided I was going to really give this whole Gluten-free thing a proper try. I have noticed that when I eat products with Gluten – a protein found in certain grains – wheat is one of the most common sources of Gluten in our diets nowadays - I feel sluggish, bloated, my brain just has this numb feeling, I wake up with less energy & just have this EH feeling.. As you can see these are not good signs! I am an actress & a health & wellness coach, so it is my responsibility to look great & tend to my body & mind properly & from there support others in doing the same. All week I was doing great! & feeling great! I woke up without that tired, sluggish…will someone please turn off the daylight…feeling! I had more energy. I ate my greens. I had some lean proteins. I had some healthy grains such as brown rice & quinoa. & I got things done! Until the weekend… I started craving pizza!! & I’m a New Yorker so there is nothing like a pizza craving for us. But you can substitute this with your favorite source of gluten ;) And I gave in – to this delicious artisanal pizza spot. The pizza was delicious. I loved every bite of it!! Until…I woke up this past Monday morning.  I woke up feeling tired & like my brain was numb. I felt lethargic & without much energy to do anything. All I could think was why on earth did I eat that pizza!?? Now I have to get back on the ‘wagon’ & eat my greens & healthy – GLUTEN FREE grains, lean proteins… It is back to the drawing board!!

Now, I don’t believe that so called “gluten-free” foods that have an ingredient list that is a mile long, with words you can’t pronounce (or even some you can pronounce) is a good thing either!! ALWAYS read your ingredient list!!  If it lists potato starch, corn starch, tapioca starch, rice starch (see a pattern ;) or xanthum gum. STAY AWAY!! These ingredients are highly processed. They make the 'gluten-free' whatever-it-is high in sugar, lacking in nutrients & to add insult to injury, high on the Glycemic Index. This means that your body breaks them down very quickly; which leads to a spike in your blood sugar that is followed by a sharp drop. You want to eat foods that are low on the Glycemic Index – so your body breaks them down over time – making you feel satisfied longer, evening out your mood & keeping your energy up. 

Don’t fall into the marketing trap!! There are tons of companies out there that are supposedly ‘healthy’ but in reality aren’t. Case in point – Naked Juices. They are currently being sued because their juices aren’t really ‘natural’ or healthy. They are loaded with GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), soy derived fillers, lots of sugar etc.  Read the labels & do your research

Look at the sugar content! 1 teaspoon = 4.2 grams 

Here are some grains that are naturally Gluten-free:

  1. Brown rice
  2. Quinoa
  3. Amaranth
  4. Oats (just make sure they are whole oats, uncontaminated)
  5. Teff
  6. Sorghum
  7. Millet
  8. Buckwheat
  9. Cornmeal, whole grain (not cornstarch)
  10. Popcorn (organic & non-GMO)
  11. Montina (Indian Rice Grass)

You may not have heard of some of these. I have never heard of Montina!! But MOST of them are easy to find. You can start with oats, quinoa, brown rice & popcorn & then move on to Amaranth, millet, buckwheat, etc as you get more comfortable! It's a process :)

I started with these recipes & they are delicious!! Eat up!

 

Quinoa Breakfast Porridge

1 cup Almond milk, unsweetened *

½ cup quinoa

½ berries (fresh or frozen)

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp agave nectar (optional) 

Bring the almond milk & quinoa to a light boil. If you are using frozen berries ‘cook’ the berries with the quinoa. Once you bring it to a light boil, reduce heat to a low simmer & cover saucepan with its lid. Simmer for ~15 minutes or until the quinoa has the desired amount of almond milk left. Remove from heat & mix in the cinnamon & agave (optional) & the berries, if fresh.

* I use unsweetened almond milk because I want it to have as little added to it as possible. If I have time I will make my own almond milk – but I admit, I don’t usually have the time to make my own. If you want to add 1 tsp of true Vanilla extract feel free to do so.

 

Raw Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

1 ¼ cups whole oat groats or steel cut oats

1 ½ cups almond milk, unsweetened (or purified water)

1 organic apple, chopped

1 tbsp organic raisins

¼ tsp cinnamon

**Place the oats in the milk/water with the raisins & let them soak overnight.

In the morning, add the chopped apple & blend in your food processor/blender/vitamix until smooth. Sprinkle the cinnamon & more raisins, if desired.

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