15 Ideas For Being Unapologetically Healthy

Hell yes to October! Not only is it one of the most health-focused months, but it kicks off the last quarter of the year and an opportunity to create health, personal growth, and wellness goals. This is my first year to lead my free program the Last 90-Days of Being Unapologetically Healthy and this entails learning to advocate your needs in nutrition, energy, and more.

Before we dive in, think about adopting the following…

  1. Be curious. What areas in your life can you focus on to create change to be a better, calmer, more refreshed person? Whose help do you need? What resources do you need to review? What questions do you need to ask? I create the most personal growth and change, when I explore the above and ask myself the right questions.
  2. Be selfish. If something is not a Hell Yes! Then, I’m sorry, tell them no.
  3. Sleep. Seriously. It’s the secret sauce of health, and if you sleep enough, you will eat less, think more clearly and communicate better in the relationships that need you the most. Go to bed.
  4. Drink less. Have you ever been sober curious as to where and what you would do with the time, energy and money you spend on alcohol? For fun, here is a calculator to play around with. Stay-tune I will flesh this topic out more in the coming weeks.
  5. Drink more. Water. Hydration is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to optimize your hormone function, insulin and health. Just don’t overdo it before bed.
  6. Take your vitamins. And not just any vitamins. Make sure the vitamins you choose are 3rd party tested, for example, these ones, and that you are educated on what nutrients you need. As someone with an autoimmune disease, I take targeted supplements for my gut health (probiotic, L-glutamine), magnesium to improve blood sugar control and sleep/stress, B vitamins to fill nutrient gaps, improve mood and cravings and CBD. Do not assume you need what I take. If you need guidance, email me. I’ll help you identify some of your supplement needs.
  7. Play. Block off time to block out your to-do list and calendar and get out there and play. My love just gifted us stand up paddle boards for our anniversary and that’s easily my happiest place on the planet right now. You don’t need to live by an ocean to enjoy some water. I head to Hoover Dam in Westerville, OH every weekend I can.
  8. Let go. Let go of the things that are weighing you do, and this may entail forgiving someone and or forgiving yourself.
  9. Eat well. We don’t need to strive for perfection, but more so, progress. Above all, look at your poop. Pay attention to how food makes you feel, what your bowels look like and make sure you go daily. Notice what foods spike your blood sugar.  The foods I am most sensitive to (garbanzo beans, gluten, and sweet potatoes), cause the most insulin resistance and blood sugar swings. I am not alone in the observation either, as it’s supported in the research. Check out Robb Wolf’s book, Wired to Eat, to learn more.
  10. Ask. Ask questions so you can get the best care. This is asking questions when you are out to eat (omit standard dressings to avoid canola oil, what’s gluten-free, etc), as well as, asking questions in your community from how to parent your best, dose insulin, meal plan and more.
  11. Spend time with the right peeps. Surround yourself with those who help you be the best version of yourself. Relationships change over our lifetime and some friendships are everlasting and others aren’t. It’s okay that some aren’t.
  12. Value the lessons in your (blood sugar) mistakes. – Mistakes are okay; they’re the stepping-stones of progress.  Appreciate the journey of learning, growing and improving.
  13. Be grateful. Practice gratitude daily. I do this at night before I fall asleep. Last night I was grateful for insulin, my friends and my type 1 community.
  14. Be generous. This was a resolution for me in 2019, and indeed a year I’ve been absolutely the most generous with my time, money and talents. The reward can’t be put into words. Be generous, perform random acts of kindness, pay it forward. You won’t regret it.
  15. Compete. Compete with an earlier version of yourself. In my last 90 day program, I help you with a plan to provide you structure, leading to growth and success. I am excited for you to create some magic. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Recommended Grocery List

If we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Eating healthy begins with a good grocery list and having an idea of what meals to make for the week ahead. More tips and advice below.

Produce – focusing on seasonal produce and organic if possible

  • Veggies – lots and lots!
  • Sweet potatoes – great for sweet potato chips or just oven roasted with butter or coconut oil.
  • Mushrooms – use these in everything, from eating raw to throwing in eggs.
  • Wild green
  • Broccoli – usually buy frozen in bulk, therefore, no stress on consuming it before it may spoil.
  • Zucchini, asparagus, brussels sprouts, cabbage, all pending on the planned meals for the week.
  • Cauliflower – use as cauli mash or cauli rice.
  • Fresh herbs – can really change the way a meal tastes, and provide antioxidants and helps detoxify our body.
  • Avocado – helps heal us from the inside out.
  • Frozen berries – for those nights I want something sweet – coconut cream, cocoa nibs and berries.
  • Bananas – so good frozen
  • Jicama – full of fiber and great for dicing in a stiry-fry, salad or slice cylinders and use as a chip.
  • Lemons/Limes

Health Tips:

Eat fermented foods daily. You can find options at Whole Foods (including Kombucha), fermented vegetables at the farmer’s market and online at wisechoicemarket.com.

Overall diversify the types of produce you eat weekly, even simply rotate the type of salad greens you eat.

Meat/Seafood

  • Anything grass fed/free range at a good price – beef, lamb, venison, pork
  • Nitrate free bacon – shortcut or Canadian bacon
  • Organic, free-range poultry – opt for skin-on, bone in. Both of these elements are mineral rich and good for our body.
  • No nitrate, hormone free, gluten free deli meat (Boar’s Head, Applegate, Columbus
  • WILD Salmon, tilapia, scallops, calamari, tuna, cod, shrimp – usually buy frozen and some fresh if eating same day.
  • Sardines

Health Tips:

If you don’t have access to quality protein sources there are some great online stores and possible local CSA’s. I recommend US Wellness Meats, Tropical Traditions, Vital Choice (awesome seafood) and Eat Wild websites. Amazon is great for getting certain ingredients, including jerky.

Choose wild caught fish and not farmed. The nutritional profiles in wild are better and contain fewer toxins.

Dairy

  • Organic (grassfed is even better) butter
  • Full fat, organic and grassfed cheese
  • Free range, organic eggs

Compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture contain: 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega- 3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E, and 7 times more beta carotene.*

Aisles

  • Pickles
  • Oils such as coconut, macadamia nut and high quality olive oil
  • Nuts – store them in a cool place, heat can turn them rancid
  • Coconut flour and cream/milk
  • Dark chocolate and cocoa nibs
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • Hot sauce and spices
  • Tea and coffee (organic coffee)
  • Raw honey (real raw honey)
  • Salsa ( no corn or wheat ingredients)
  • Chia, hemp, whole seeds (soak chia seeds overnight in water or unsweetened almond milk/coconut milk to have a porridge like texture)
  • Tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

References:
Lopez-Bote, C. J., R.Sanz Arias, A.I. Rey, A. Castano, B. Isabel, J. Thos (1998). “Effect of free-range feeding on omega-3 fatty acids and alpha-tocopherol content and oxidative stability of eggs.” Animal Feed Science and Technology 72: 33-40.

A Day (Diet) In the Life of Kelly

It has been awhile since I have posted my daily food intake and since moving my food options have varied be remain to be primal choices. Enjoy this observation and let me know if you have any questions.

Brekkie

  • Paleo pancakes – 2 free range eggs, lots of cinnamon, Himalayan sea salt, tablespoon or so of coconut flour, 1/8 cup of almond unsweetened milk, cocoa nibs (for texture, flavor and health benefits) and coconut oil (to grease the pan).
  • Black coffee
  • Water
  • 2 probiotics, 2 fish oils, 4,000 IU vitamin D

Side note on why I choose the above – I prefer coconut flour over almond meal/flour. Almond meal/flour is tasty but it is a huge intake of nuts, which have antinutrients. Nuts are a great fuel source but should be consumed in moderation.

I do not put any honey or sugar in my paleo pancakes simply because they are so good and do not need it.

The noted supplements are usually consistent day to day but my vitamin D dose with vary with my activities and recent time spent outside. I prefer cod liver oil but while traveling it is not as conducive.

Lunch

  • Mixture of 2 soups I had in the refrigerator – one was freshly made, which is very similar to the known Weight Watchers cabbage soup and the second is a similar tomato-based soup made with sausage.
  • Handful of pecans, as a side.
  • Water

Snack – dill pickle half

Dinner

  • Bowl of cabbage soup
  • Grilled chicken – shredded it and heated it in my soup
  • Water

(All leftovers I had around)

Snack – Homemade gluten free cookie with a teaspoon of almond butter on top, Water

If I were to be a self-critic I would view this day and suggest I did a pretty good idea. Is it perfect? No. But if I were to striving for perfection with what I ate, I do not think I would have enjoyed it as much and there would present an extra layer of stress; which we do not need in our busy day. I would however, suggest more raw food. I could have easily thrown in some of the garden peppers into my salad and to be honest, I didn’t because I was lazy. On to a new day with the new opportunity to succeed.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

Corn Syrup in Soy Sauce?!

Getting comfortable upon our return to the US, post living in Australia for two years, I cannot help but find myself feeling “culture shock.” Maybe, “food shock” is a better term.

No doubt, I love America and the lifestyle it offers, yet, since being accustomed to daily food markets, butchers with fresh, free range meat and eggs, it is overwhelming walking into a Giant Eagle, let alone Costco these last few days.

Goodness, I bet my bank account I found a kiwi in Costco the size of a mango. How is this natural? And wow, I could literally get any cuisine I wanted in one store, regardless of the season. They had seaweed salad in Ohio! I mean this is great, but is it that great? The salad was delish but after reading the food ingredients, it lost it’s appeal seeing there were at least 3 food coloring’s in it. Why would my seaweed need to be more green? I wish we had an option.

And whereas it’s lovely to get any ingredient you want, it makes it tough to know what is truly in season. In Australia I literally bought produce by the season and made recipes accordingly. I remember one day I wanted red grapes (out of season) and the supermarket clerk looked at me like I had two heads.

Also, whilst visiting with family, my mom asked I help point out some healthier choices for her to eat/prepare for meals and I was/am more than keen to do so. This morning I began helping her by proofing her cabinet and found science experiments of ingredients. What do I mean? Some of the items in the pantry would never pass as food if it weren’t for the label or food container. I nearly fell over when I saw corn syrup in soy sauce! Why? I mean really, why? I know corn is cheap and before you know it, it is going to be found in our chewing gum. Oh wait…

I am probably coming off in this post as harsh, but the point I want to make is it’s not anyone’s fault for not knowing what is best for them to eat or feed their family with. There are so so so many mixed messages in the media and heaps of information to sort through. Most recently I had forgotten how hard marketing makes it on the regular consumer in knowing what foods to choose for health.  If you need some clarifying, I am happy to help. Send me an email and I will do my best to reply within 48 hours.

A pointer to start you off with is a line by Michael Pollan, “Eat food. Not too much. Most plants.” And sure as heck eat real butter!

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

Dear Food Log – 12/12/11

Today, Monday, I ate:

Gym: 6AM, stairclimber, abs, push-ups

Breakfast: 7:20AM
2 poached eggs
Mushrooms and herbs
1 large strawberry, sliced
Water
Fish oil
Probiotics

Lunch: 2PM
Leftover fish taco meat and vegetables
Water

At work today we had a guest speaker discussing how to make the most of our lives. It was an interesting talk and motivational. I have been brewing up some NYE resolutions but have not necessarily thought of my goals for 2012. Have you? I know I have traveling in mind, health as a focus, maybe write a book, continue on blogging and more. I would love to hear what you all are pondering. Have any suggestions or ideas? Please share.

Walk: 5PM, walk home from work – 4.5 miles

Dinner: 7:30PM
Saganaki
Raw beef with truffle oil, rocket, parmesan cheese and potato
Water
Sauv Blanc

 

Dear Food Diary – 30/11/11

Today, Wednesday, I ate:

Breakfast: 8AM
2 poached eggs, free range
2 mushrooms, large, button, raw
1 spoonful of mashed avocado
Water
Probiotics
Fish oil
Chromium

Lunch: 1:45PM
1/2 kangaroo burger
Spinach, raw
Sauteed onions
Water

Snack: 4PM
Coconut cream, organic
15 blueberries, fresh
1 spoonful of sunbutter

Exercise: 5 mile walk

Dinner: 7:15PM
Salmon, wild
Salt and pepper, olive oil
Raw mushrooms

What do you think of this day of intake? Personally, I think I did pretty well. I could have drank more water and reduced the salt on the salmon and morning eggs. Is reading a dietitian’s daily intake helpful for you?

Cheers to you and good health!

Dear Food Diary

Today, 29/11/11, I ate…

Breakfast: 9AM
1/2 medium banana
Sunbutter

I woke up around 6:30AM but I was not at all hungry. Those that are reading this and keep up with nutrition advice may be shocked I did not eat something within a 30 minute window of waking up. Contrary to popular belief there is no reason we need to eat within 30 minutes or immediately after waking up. We should not even be restricted to 3 square meals a day. We should eat when we are hungry and some research suggests eating during daylight hours only.

As you can see in my log, I have been doing so but once I have a constant schedule and have stable, consistent blood sugars and my sleep is good I will be more tuned into my hunger signals and may not follow the consistent pattern you have been seeing in the past few food logs. Have you ever heard of Intermittent Fasting? This is the direction I intend to go. I have done it in the past and helps with insulin sensitivity and more.

Exercise: 4 mile walk

Lunch: 12:30PM
Vegetable juice (beets, carrot, celery, lemon, ginger, mint)
1 hard boiled egg
ham, deli
Water

Snack: 3PM
Almond butter (Geesh, I love this stuff)
Never could you guess I am trying to avoid nuts and seeds. Nuts are my candy.

Dinner: 5:45PM
Kangaroo burger with cheese
Mashed avocado

Cheese is not considered paleo and with this craving I once again learned I should always steer clear of dairy. For one reason or another, dairy always exasperates my blood sugar. The above dinner is a low carbohydrate meal but my post meal blood sugar was abnormally high. Can anyone else relate to this occurrence? Some of the more well known paleo medical folks, such as Rob Woff, suggest that anyone with an auto immune disease should not consume dairy because of the inflammation it causes. 

Till next time. Cheers to you and good health!

Dear Food Diary

Today, 28/11/11, I ate:

Breakfast: 8:30AM
2 poached eggs
Sauteed spinach
10 fresh blueberries
Water
Chromium
Fish oil
Probiotics
Selenium

Lunch: 12:30PM
Cooked onions with olive oil and garlic
Smoked ham
Mushrooms, button
4 ounces organic coconut cream
5 fresh raspberries

Snack: 4PM
1/2 of medium banana
Sunbutter (made from sunflower seeds)

Dinner: 6:30PM
Leftover onion, garlic and mushroom side
Kangaroo
Water

Dear Food Diary – Day 2

Today, 18/11/11, I ate…

Breakfast: 7AM
Quite hungry this morning
Blood sugar = 83 mg/dl
3 egg version of Sweet and Savory Eggs
Water
Probiotics
Multivitamin
CoQ10
Allergy meds

11:25AM blazing hot (90 degrees F), walking home from my appointment for my jaw, craving (and not proud of it) a Diet Coke.

Noon: Not hungry yet
Blood glucose 134 mg/dl.
Dissolved some Glutamine in water; assists with healing (jaw)

Lunch: 1:45PM
Leftover steak, about 3 ounces
Leftover sauteed cabbage
Water

Exercise: 1.5 mile walk
Blood glucose 124 mg/dl

Snack: 5PM
Jello, fortified with Glutamine
10 fresh blueberries

Dinner: 7:30PM
3/4 glass of NZ Pinot Noir
Salmon
Salad with tomato, avocado and sweet potato
1 natural oyster
Water

Snack: 9:45PM
Blood glucose 116 mg/dl
Surprisingly not satisfied with dinner. Being spoiled with amazing food in Melbourne, I like to think I have mature taste-buds or you can just say, “I have acquired a bit of food snob in me.” Yet, the flavors in my meal just did not seem to work.
1/2 banana
1 mini square of 85% dark chocolate

Dear Food Diary

Today, 17/11/11, I ate….

Breakfast:
2 poached eggs
Sauteed mushrooms, olive oil
Salt and pepper
Water
Multivitamin
Allergy medicine

Lunch:
Homade grassfed cilantro and chili pepper
Leftover spring salad, lemon
Mini avocado
3 black olives

Exercise: 4 mile walk

Snack:
20 fresh blueberries over peach jello

Dinner:
Grilled Hoki white fish
Sauteed cabbage, seasonings, sesame oil
Water
Probiotics
Magnesium Citrate

A few sips of Extra Dry Cider

Is there anything else you would like me to include in my food diary? Is this what your day looks like? Anything you want to suggest?

Cheers to you and good health!