Let’s Make This Year (2018) Different

How many people do you think made a weight loss wish when the ball dropped this year? Chances are, quite a few.

With two-thirds of Americans overweight, there are an estimated 45 million people on a diet right now, chalking up $33 billion per year on weight loss products.

Yet, times are changing, and so are the approaches to improving our health. The dogma of calories in, equal calories out has been exploited. There is far more involved with wellness and weight loss than the obsession with eating perfect portions of perfectly healthy food.

Make this year different by relaxing the efforts on dieting, and create a balance between the mind, body, and spirit, emphasizing how you feel, how, what and when you eat, and what you believe makes you healthy. I’ve included a few items to focus on below:

1. Hydrate

The goal is to drink half your weight in ounces, and more if you are exercising or traveling. Start the day with an inner bath and drink 20 ounces first thing. In the winter, I fulfill this need by carrying a water bottle with me wherever I go, or more often you will see me with my Continga containing hot water with lemon.

2. Don’t Major in Minor Things

Sometimes eating “perfectly” can do us more harm than good. Relax and don’t give up 95% of your life to drop 5% of your weight (or fill in the blank of what you are trying to achieve). The healthiest version of yourself isn’t how good you look in a swimsuit. The healthiest version of yourself is when hormones are balanced, your body and mind are strong and you have the energy to do what you love. When you push your body to extremes, including talking to yourself in a negative way, you’re giving up more than calories. You miss out on life.

3. Avoid Vegetable Oils and Man-Made Oils (Canola. Corn, Sunflower, Soybean oil, Safflower and Cottonseed oil)

These oils have large amounts of biologically active fats called Omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are harmful to our health.  The more Omega-6s you eat, the more systemic inflammation you will have. Opt for better fats such as coconut oil, avocado oil. palm oil, grass-fed butter or ghee for cooking, and olive oil, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, walnut oil for cold uses. Make sure to have some sort of fat on your plate at each meal, and the right kind of fat.

4. Know Hunger is the Best Sauce

Master hunger and feel comfortable being hungry 30 to 60 minutes before a meal. Eat when you’re hungry – but only when you’re hungry. Forget the clock and listen to your body instead. 

5. Moderate

Perhaps my favorite tip: moderation (and I am not talking food). While working hard in your career, parenthood, friendships, life, find a balance in enjoying things like make you happy. Being healthy is a balancing act, and not about deprivation nor perfection.

6.  Stress Less – Sleep More

Sleep is the backbone of good health. Guard your bedtime as sleep deprivation decreases the release of growth hormones and increases cortisol levels. Both of these play an important role in blood sugar control.

 

Books on Empowerment

Books are my new favorite form of self-care and no doubt, I love the self-help section. This list was inspired by Danielle over at Diabetes Dominator and hopefully it can inspire you.

Cyber Monday Promos!

Tis the season to be social, but it is possible to keep your health in check while still enjoying yourself. Aim to maintain your weight from November to the New Year, as it’s more than common to gain 5 lbs this time of year. Not to worry, here are a few pointers on how to enjoy holidays healthfully.
This Cyber Monday I am offering some deals on facilitating a healthy and LEAN holiday season. Ends midnight tonight.
  • 25% off all of my services. This is a first, and jolly discount! I am thankful for my clients, and I want to show the love!
  • 15% off supplements from Standard Process and Thorne. If interested, please reply to this post via email ([email protected]) with what products you want, the quantity and the address to have them shipped.
  • $9.99 for my 21 Day Self-Guided Real Food Challenge. This is an eBook chalk full of education on what foods to eat, including a grocery list, sample meal plan, supplement recommendations, a progress chart, and additionally a separate day-to-day journal, including a daily tip, recipe and motivator.
Additionally, if you are thinking of doing a Cleanse in the New Year, stay tuned on updates from me regarding the 21 Day Detox I am hosting, starting January 9th. Commit this weekend and you will get 15% off the Cleanse Kit.
Above all, have a safe and happy holiday season.

Hormonal Balance

I look forward to setting a few minutes aside most days to read one of my favorite e-newsletters from Mind Body Green. Have you heard of them? If not, head their way. They have a treasure chest of feel good health articles, covering diet to meditation to movement. Yet, getting to the topic of today’s post, after reading an article on foods to avoid for hormonal imbalance, I want to give feedback on one of the author’s, Alisa Vitti, statements. And to expand on the word “feedback,” I do not intend to suggest she is wrong, I am right, I just want to add more information to educate consumers as we are on the same team here.

The full article is here, but in summary the author suggests striving for hormonal balance by avoiding:

  • raw kale,
  • soy,
  • stevia (and I really appreciated this on the list as so many women are confused what to use as a sweetener, especially when they are pregnant),
  • red meat and
  • “cooling foods.”

Guess which one I want to address? Red meat.

I am not sure I am sold, as I have written an article on Pregnancy Staple Foods and included red meat (grassfed/organic) as a nutrition powerhouse.

After the listing of “red meat” in the hormone article, the author includes, “Many of my clients with PCOS have been told to follow a meat-heavy Paleo diet, but in my experience, this isn’t the best option.”

I agree with that –  a meat heavy diet would not be good for anyone’s long-term health, let alone hormone balance. Carbs are crucial for health. Yes, there are people fitting for a very low carb diet or a ketogenic diet, but carbs should not be the new weight-gaining phobia. In the 80s people learned to fear fat, and in the last decade or more, carbs have become the bad guy. However, carbs are needed for thyroid health, adrenal health, satiety/sleep and weight loss! Protein is needed, in a calculated/intuitive amount, and healthy red meat is a GREAT option.

All in all, I don’t have beef with beef if it’s sourced well, and I don’t want consumers to either. When able, purchase beef that is grassfed and organic (although, did you see the news on organic meat? Either way, it’s best to err on the side of caution and go with organic). So I think this is a great article, yet, I’d change up the wording of red meat, to avoid a heavy meat diet, especially conventionally raised meat.

Cheers to you and good health.

 

 

Top 10 Reasons to See a Paleo Registered Dietitian

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics posted an article, “Top 10 Reasons to Visit an RD,” and it inspired me to repost similar content but outline why a Paleo Registered Dietitian can suit your needs.

A trusted health care professional can serve as an integral liaison in helping you make change for a healthy lifestyle. See how consulting with a Paleo RD can benefit you.

  1. Diabetes: You have prediabetes or any other form of diabetes – T1, T2, Gestational and you want to gain control. A Paleo RD can change your life and your relationship with food by teaching you holistic, real-food approaches in eating a nutrient-dense diet, low to moderate carbohydrates and avoiding pro-inflammatory foods to help you best control your blood sugars.
  2. Community: Your community has high levels of obesity. A Paleo RD can work with local leaders, including doing presentations to schools, teachers and parents, to create wellness programs that promote healthy eating, sourcing high quality food locally and physical, natural movement for everyone.
  3. Media: You are a marketing manager for a food company/restaurant and know consumers’ preference for good-tasting food that is healthy. A Paleo RD can make the connection and work with your media campaign to develop new messages that will be successful in the marketplace.
  4. Performance: You want to improve your performance in sports. A Paleo RD can transition you to be fat-adapted, enhancing your ability to perform longer and better. Whether you’re running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog, you deserve to properly fuel your body with the right foods at the right amounts.
  5. Special Diets: More than 15 million people in the US have a food allergy and this does not even address food sensitivities  A Paleo RD dietitian will work with you to develop an eating plan for your new needs and even help uncover food sensitivities.
  6. Family Nutrition: A Paleo RD an help you take care of your family, from parents growing older and at risk for Alzheimer’s  dementia,  etc, to newborns and eventually starting on solids. A Paleo RD who has special culinary skills can teach you how to cook in a simple, convenient way as well as educate you on what foods to choose.
  7. Food Relationships: Perhaps you or your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully. A Paleo RD can address the impact certain anti-nutrients have on our mental health. Please note if a condition such as anorexia, etc, can be addressed by a Paleo RD, yet, a RD who specializes in eating disorders should be your first attempt. I will plug the book Primal Body, Primal Mind as a go-to resource as well.
  8. Locavore: Your community wants more local foods to be available. A Paleo RD can inform you of some great options in how to connect with a nearby farmer, as well as, provide advice on how to grow your own produce or herbs.
  9. Time: You and your husband/wife have just started a family, perhaps you have moved, started a new job or hobby and time is just not there. A Paleo RD can help you get through and not put your health in the back burner
  10. Supplements: While all health professionals can agree, food first is the best approach in getting your needed nutrient intake, however, a Paleo RD can help you source the best needed supplements or food substitutes. Perhaps liver and onions are a thing of the past, but the nutritional bang for your buck you can get with this ancestral meal or a homemade bone broth may need to be revisited.
Regardless of the niche a health professional has, everyone needs some sort of coaching. From a personal trainer, to a running coach, a business mentor, to a Registered Dietitian. Treat yourself and see what a coach can offer you.
Cheers to you and good health,
Kelly

References

Sildorf SM, er al. Remission without insulin therapy on gluten-free diet in a 6-year old boy with type 1 diabetes mellitus. BMJ Case Rep. June 21, 2012.

Jonsson, T, et al. Beneficial effects os a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc. Diabetol. 2009; 8: 35.

Cordain L. The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based Upon Paleolithic Food GroupsJANA. 2002; 5(3): 15-24.

Wolf, R. The Paleo Solution – The Original Human Diet. 2010.

Rosebud O. Robertsa, Lewis A. Roberts, Yonas E. Geda, Ruth H. Cha, V. Shane Pankratz, Helen M. O’Connor, David S. Knopman and Ronald C. Petersen, Relative Intake of Macronutrients Impacts Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2012 

Wangen W. Healthier Without Wheat – A New Understanding of Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease, and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance. 2009.

USDA Taking a Stand on the Kiddo’s Lu

With the dominant health status of our country, let alone children, the USDA, for the first time in more than a decade, applies new rules for the federal school lunch program. Such guidelines include:

  • calorie and sodium limits
  • schools must offer dark green, orange or red vegetables and legumes at least once a week
  • students are required to select at least one vegetable or fruit per meal
  • Flavored milk must be nonfat
  • there’s a ban on artificial trans fats.

I believe the intentions are good here, and this was a nice win for Michelle Obama with  her advocacy to stop childhood obesity, but I have a hard time agreeing with all of the rules. One main thing that is troublesome is the lunch time for kids. Recalling back to my youth, some people had their lunch period as early as 10:45am where others longed for some food up to 1:15pm (starting class before 8am). How is a calorie restriction going to help when students are famished by the time they get to the lunch table?

Furthermore, when the food options are right, it is hard to overeat. And by “right” I do not mean corn is a vegetable as categorized by the USDA. Most corn in the US is genetically modified (73%) and can be destructive to our GI tract let alone our immune system. Like most things, there is room for constructive feedback, and again while the intentions are right, the lunch offerings just needs more whole, natural food without processing and cooking in seed oils, including canola oil.

Gosh, I am now wondering why I decided to write about this – I might get in trouble for what I want to say about milk and the grain recommendations…

Overall, the obesity concerns are taking notice and actions are being taken to help reduce the epidemic. Beyond the lunch room we all can make better choices for our health, our family’s health and our environment.  Buy locally, growing your own things, even if it is just herbs, will help lower the carbon footprint.

When we are fueled the right way, with the right foods, we are our best person. Good on the USDA putting in the effort and hopefully soon enough the will put forth some rules that are as simple as one of Michael Pollan’s best quotes, “Eat food, most vegetables, not too much.”

What are your thoughts on this new view from the lunch queue?

Monday Movers – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

After wrapping-up some must needed domestic duties this weekend, I found myself reading one of the most interesting and epic studies of the year – the research was all about smiling.

In a nutshell, doctors Marc Gillinov and Steven Nissen reported on a study rating the smiles of 230 baseball players (pre-1950 athletes) from the Baseball Register. Can you guess what they found when cross-checking these player’s smiles to their longevity?

  • No smile = age 73
  • Partial smile = 75
  • Full smile = 80

Pretty interesting, right? This study is consistent with other data addressing emotional health to heart disease, cholesterol, blood pressure and weight. Optimistic people have half the risk for cardiovascular diseases when compared to the least optimistic folks. Stress does more than just turn the wheel in our heads. It has been associated to harm our arteries and our tickers. Shall we let the science speak and turn all frowns upside down?

If only it were that easy.

But it can be. If you are having a tough time right now, relax. If you are frustrated about something, try to let it go, or work it out. But do not fret; too much.

A smile may not be a game-changer but our outlook on each day may be. This data along with other supporting research on mental health share a common denominator of a positive, optimistic outlook on life and each day.

Mondays are no fun nor are cold days (it’s winter in Australia) but they can be. A change in perspective is all it takes. Find out what you like doing, who you enjoy hanging out with and what invigorates you and do more of it.

This Monday I have booked a yoga class for the evening and plan on walking to work (LOVE walking). What is on your agenda? I hope it is something that makes you smile.

Cheers to you and good health!

Food For Thought: Himalayan Crystal Salt

Do you take a multivitamin? If so, would you be willing to swap it for something more natural and perhaps cheaper?

http://www.ecokitchen.com
http://www.ecokitchen.com

When eating a paleo or primal diet, there is little room for processed foods thus a low intake of sodium. Plus the hard cold facts on the idea of consuming salt/sodium is bad for your health is yet to be proven. Physiology clearly demonstrates that salt intake is managed by the healthy body itself (kidneys) and research indicates that a low-salt diet can actually be bad for us. A low sodium diet can activate the rennin-angiotensin system and the sympathetic nervous system, increase in insulin resistance and cause overt hydration.(1). Therefore, it is important to have some sodium in your diet and today’s post is to persuade you to go the extra mile to swap regular iodized table salt for the pink Himalayan Crystal salt. Here are a few selling points to ponder on how Himalayan Salt can be beneficial (table salt cannot hold a candle to this):

  • Regulates fluid balance
  • Promotes a healthy pH balance
  • Promotes blood sugar regularity
  • Supportes respiratory health and muscle cramps
  • Promoting sinus health
  • Promotes bone health and skin health
  • Regulates sleep
  • Supports sex drive
  • Regulates blood pressure in conjuction with water
  • Slows the processes of aging

Himalayan Crystal Salt has 80 plus minerals and elements including: potassium, calcium and magnesium (2).. So what do you think? Ideally I use Himalayan Crystal Salt in all of my cooking (when needed) and in my homemade nut butters. Side note, homemade macadamia nut butter is my new favorite thing. Oh my goodness is it good. Overall I have always salted my food; well have tried not to, but now table salt does not taste good to me. Himalayan Salt has a different taste and a much better one. Make the change and let me know how you go. I hope this information offered some new knowledge for you. Cheers to you and good health! 1. Harrison RA, Edwards R. Was Sid the slug worth GBP4 million? A population perspective or policy based evidence. 2. Frezenius Institute in Europe

What? That is Breakfast?

Have you ever put strawberries in an omelette? Have you ever put fruit in your eggs?

I know, I know. Sometimes I surprise myself with what I eat…

This morning and for the past week or so, I have come up with something pretty creative in the kitchen. Anyone willing to give it a try?

Straw-crazy Breakfast:
Begin by heating a skillet with coconut oil
Throw in 2 free-range eggs, over easy style but more done than not
While eggs cook, add in fresh ginger, sea salt, sliced mushrooms and 2 sliced strawberries

Viola. Try it. trust me. It is good. And good for you.

Cheers to you and good health!

Sunday Sessions & Food Log

Sundays are so homey. Do you agree? It’s a day for personal time, preparation for the week and to reminisce on what took place in the last few days.

Most Sundays, especially when the weather agrees, I go on a run or walk or head to the gym, think of what’s on for the next 5 days and what meals I can prep and package away for easy lunch and dinner decisions.

If I do not have the ingredients I need on Sunday, I make a loop to the grocery, then the health shop and then the market. I love the market so much, even if I do not want to buy anything. It is such a positive happy place and the vendors really make an effort to get to know their customers. Just yesterday the Healthy Cafe owners came out into the market and gave us a hug to see how we were doing.

However, if I do not get lunches and dinner together on Sunday for the week, I tend to get takeaway during the week at work and for dinner, I usually sacrifice time that can spent outside walking or time at the gym in the evening making something from scratch and even worse, may skip the idea of making food altogether and eat out again.

Moral of the story is it is well worth it to plan ahead. This is what my daily food log looks like along with my plans for meals.

Breakfast: 10:30AM
Coconut pancakes with nutbutter – ingredients included free range eggs, coconut flour, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla extract, salt coconut milk and coconut oil. Here is a recipe for almond meal pancakes, posted a few months back.
Water
Fish oil
Probiotics
Allergy meds
Iced coffee, no sweetener nor sugar

Lunch: 1:45PM

Homemade nori rolls with avocado and shrimp
Water 

Snack: 3PM
Corn chips (5 or so) with organic cheddar cheese
1/2 banana and nutbutter

Exercise: 3:30PM
Walk – 4.75 miles

Dinner: 6PM
Fish and Spanish chorizo tacos – fresh guacamole, diced tomatoes, sauteed onions and pepper and more.
Water

Meals for the week: I have to suggest this was not the best example of what I do on Sundays. Quite often I make massive meals including soups, chipotle style chicken and vegetables fajitas, grass fed burgers, frittatas, guacamole and more.

But on this Sunday, I bought fresh bell peppers and onions to assist with any meal of fish or meat.
Tonight’s dinner was purposefully made 3x larger- I plan on having the fish taco leftovers for lunch a few times this week.
I made hard boiled eggs for mornings on the go.
I usually make beef, lamb or kangaroo patties but will wait to buy some minced meat on a night we plan on grilling out.

Do you practice Sundays in a similar fashion? What meals to you usually make up?

Cheers to you and good health!