Sharing delicious (and hopefully nutritious) meals with people I love is one of my favorite things in life. That makes Thanksgiving one of my favorites. It’s also a time where it’s easy to completely give up on health goals until after the New Year, when New Year's resolutions are made, but rarely kept.
This year from Thanksgiving to January 1st is 36 days. Regardless of which holidays you celebrate, there're more non holiday days in there than holidays. If you relax on your healthy way of eating on the actual holidays and do the best you can on the days in between, you’ll be better off than you would be if you completely give up.
Enjoy your parties and get togethers. Relax on your diet without feeling guilty about it. But, instead of using indulging as an excuse to give up completely until the New Year, get back to it on the days in between.
If you do the best you can on the days in between, you’ll be better off when January 1st arrives. You might not even need to make a New Years reso...
It’s only October, and I’m already tired of hearing about pumpkin spice EVERYTHING. Actually, I was tired of it in September. So many of the pumpkin spice flavored foods are super sugary and not health promoting. It makes me cringe a little every time I hear the words “pumpkin spice”. The actual spices though, they do have amazing health benefits.
Throughout history, herbs and spices have been used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Today, scientific research is confirming that these plants do have the health promoting benefits that were known and passed down from generation to generation. More research needs to be done, but what’s been discovered so far is more than enough to encourage incorporating more into your diet for their chronic disease preventing properties. (1,2,3,4)
The specific chemical make up varies for each herb and spice. They contain components with anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, antitumour and anticancer properties....
I used to get completely taken out by a cold or flu one or two times each fall or winter. I’d be in bed with a headache, feeling miserable and get dizzy every time I got up. This would last for several days.
Does this sound familiar? I had no idea that this doesn’t have to be my usual cold and flu season experience. It may not have to be yours either.
For me, things completely changed once I learned how and started taking better care of myself. Now, it’s rare that I’m completely taken out by a cold or flu. If I do come down with something, it’s usually mild and often lasts only a day. I may just feel a little off and really tired. Now, I actually don’t mind being sick because my symptoms are so much milder and I even enjoy a quiet day resting, reading or watching tv. Before, I would feel so miserable, even those activities weren’t enjoyable.
I’ve learned to listen to my body, take it easy and take extra good care of myself at the earliest twinge of not feeling 100%. I know if I d...
Are beans healthy? The answer to this question is the same for all whole foods. It depends on who’s eating them.
A food can nourish one person and cause problems for another. Why is this? Bio-individuality. We’re each unique. If we want to take control of our health to become our healthiest, we need to determine what does and doesn’t work for us specifically. It’s important to pay attention and listen to your body. How do you feel after you eat beans?
If you get a stomach ache, bloating or gas after eating beans, that’s a sign that right now, they're not the best option for you. It could be that if you work to improve your digestion, you’d be able to eat beans without problems.
Beans are a great source of fiber, which can feed beneficial microorganisms that inhabit your digestive tract. These microorganisms make vitamins, essential amino acids, short chain fatty acids, improve immune function, reduce inflammation, protect you from pathogens and more. They create byproducts that hel...
I chose to work outside today because I was feeling tired, a little overwhelmed and stressed. Now, I’m writing this from a shady spot in my backyard, barefoot in the grass. Every once in a while a hummingbird comes by to drink nectar from the bright red Crocosmias or to chase another hummingbird away from it’s territory.
Even though I’ve been looking over client info all day and staring at a screen, I feel relaxed and energized. And I’ve gotten so much done! I can definitely feel a difference in mood and energy levels from the days I spend all day working inside on the computer.
We have two states of our autonomic nervous system. One is the parasympathetic rest, digest and repair state and the other is our sympathetic fight or flight, go, go, go state. In our culture we’re so busy and on the go. We spend too much time with our sympathetic state heightened and not enough time with our parasympathetic state heightened. This is negatively impacting our health.
A recent study found that eating processed foods caused people to gain weight and eating unprocessed foods resulted in weight loss.
During the study people were provided with their meals and were able to eat as much or as little as they wanted. The people who ate the processed diet tended to eat faster and eat more calories than the people eating the unprocessed diet.
Have a look at the foods eaten in both diets below. It’s really sad, but the processed diet examples could be straight from a public school menu or even a home packed lunch.
The processed diet:
Processed breakfasts included: honey nut cheerios, Otis Spunkmeyer blueberry muffins with margarine, Jenni-O turkey bacon, Sara Lee English muffins, Chef Pierre croissants, Lender’s plain bagels with Philadelphia cream cheese, Yoplait blueberry yogurt and Eggo pancakes with Smuckers syrup.
Going gluten free may seem like just a fad, but it benefits health for many people, even without a diagnosis of celiac disease.
While not every single person needs to go gluten free to be healthy, for many, gluten causes symptoms that aren’t obviously related. Reactions vary and are often delayed. When a person reacts to gluten, but doesn’t have celiac disease or a wheat allergy, it’s called non-celiac gluten sensitivity. (1)
The list of symptoms caused by gluten is long. They include, but aren’t limited to: bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, headaches, fatigue, skin problems, depression, anxiety, joint and muscle pain, dark circles under eyes, bloodshot eyes, runny nose and hay fever.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a mixture of proteins. It’s in wheat, rye and barley. Oats contain avenin, a protein similar to gluten, which may or may not cause problems, depending on the individual. (2)
In bread making, gluten holds the bread together, helps bread rise by trapping air bubbles and...
A body that’s healthy, nourished and functioning optimally, naturally detoxifies all the time. Although many organs and every cell are involved, your liver is the major contributor. In your liver, detoxification happens in two phases via a variety of pathways. Like most bodily functions, nutrients are required for these processes to occur.
Today, toxins are everywhere and our bodies are overburdened with the volume of substances we need to detoxify. It’s really sad and depressing to think about too much. My approach is to do the best I can to avoid toxins, make sure I’m eating plenty of foods that support detoxification and not worry or stress about what I can’t control.
Here’s a few things you can do to avoid toxins and support your body’s natural detoxification processes...
Eat foods that influence detoxification pathways (1)
cruciferous vegetables- cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and watercress, kale, collard greens, arugula, radishes
For this months post, I thought the best way of explaining how food helps you be healthy is with a picture. I couldn’t find one that fit exactly, so I made one for you.
Yesterday, my husband and I were driving our oldest son across the mountains and back to school at Oregon State University where he’s working towards his physics degree. He loves and enjoys physics and even thinks it’s fun.
When we ask him about how school is going, the conversation usually turns into him explaining some complex concept that involves things like imaginary numbers (yes, that’s a thing!), quantum mechanics and differential equations, while we attempt to grasp even a fraction of what he's saying.
During our drive, he mentioned he’s especially interested in electricity and began telling us about how electricity storage and transformers work. Since my brain always wants to apply everything to nutrition, I began wondering how exactly nutrients are involved in our cells ability to conduct electricity.
If you want to improve your diet and health, eating less added sugar is a great place to start.
Various sugars are added to processed packaged foods as a preservative, or to add sweetness. These are different than naturally occurring sugars found in whole ingredients like dates, raisins, apples, blueberries, cheese, even bell peppers. Natural sugars are in their whole, unrefined form, close to the way they came from nature.
Added sugars have been removed from their whole form and/or have been concentrated. They are more refined than their natural source. Artificial sweeteners are also added sugars to be avoided.
How do you know if a food has added sugars?
With whole foods, it’s easy. They don’t have added sugars, only natural. They often don’t have packages or nutrition labels either. Eat more of these.
With processed packaged foods it takes more effort. Start by looking at the ingredients list on the package. Ingredients are listed in order of quantity. Food manufactures often use mu...