Back-To-School Breakfast Ideas

Summer is nearly gone at the advent of school starting next week. I keep thinking of this phrase as I will be sending my oldest off to kindergarten (tear) on Thursday.

“I’ve learned that life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.”

Funny, right? But silly stupid true. Where did summer go?

Speaking of time, this week I’m highlighting ways to save time in the kitchen in the morning.

  1. Make waffles from Birch Blenders mixes in bulk and store them in a Ziplock freezer bag until they are ready to be toasted/eaten. Bonus tip, add a few scoops of collagen peptides to the batter (+ a tbsp of avocado oil) to increase the protein content, satiety and brain-boosting amino acids for learning.
  2. Banana Pancakes: mash 1 small banana with 2 eggs and make a pancake or 2 in a skillet like you would traditional batter.
  3. Chia Seed Pudding: mixing 1 part chia seeds with 4 parts liquid. Example: 1/4 cup chia seeds with 1 cup of coconut milk. Add spices and sweetener to your liking. Make multiple of these ahead in mini mason jars.

7 Risks of Prolonged Insulin Resistance

Insulin resistance refers to a condition in which cells in the body no longer respond properly to insulin. This has a huge impact on health because of the role that this anabolic hormone plays in glucose metabolism. With insulin resistance, cells, including those in the liver and body fat, begin to ‘resist’ signals sent by insulin. This means that they stop absorbing glucose from the blood to use it as the main fuel source. As a result, blood sugar levels start to rise, causing a variety of health risks, the best known of which is diabetes. However, failing to manage the condition effectively can do more damage than you realize. Here are some of the major risks of prolonged insulin resistance.

  1. Type 2 Diabetes

The pancreas which produces insulin, respond to resistance by increasing production of the hormone. With prolonged insulin resistance, the amount of insulin needed to regulate blood sugar levels keeps rising. In time, the pancreas suffers from fatigue and cannot meet the demands for insulin. This leads to the onset of prediabetes and diabetes. Insulin resistance is regarded as a major predictor of type-2 diabetes, with most patients going on to develop the condition within the next 10-20 years.

  1. High Cholesterol

In many cases, prolonged insulin resistance makes you more likely to develop high cholesterol levels. More specifically, it alters systemic lipid metabolism, resulting in higher than normal levels of plasma triglycerides, while levels of high-density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol) start to fall. The increase in blood cholesterol levels that is commonly observed with insulin resistance may be caused by increased synthesis of very-low-density lipoprotein in the liver.

  1. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Although the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can have various causes, such as a high-fat diet and obesity, insulin resistance is regarded as an important contributor. The condition can increase fat accumulation in the liver by increasing the delivery of free fatty acid and through hyperinsulinemia – increased insulin production. In fact, insulin resistance is observed in almost all cases of fatty liver disease. In some cases, this can even lead to the development of steatohepatitis.

  1. You develop dark skin patches

Prolonged insulin resistance leads to an increase in insulin production over time and this can cause an accumulation of insulin within skin cells themselves. This manifests in visible skin changes, with darkened patches of skin towards the back of the neck, elbows, knees, groins, knuckles, and armpits. This skin condition is described as acanthosis nigricans. There is no known cure for the condition, but the management of insulin resistance can help to prevent it or reduce the severity of discoloration and darkening.

  1. Heart Attack & Stroke

When not managed in a timely manner, insulin resistance can significantly raise the risk of heart failure and strokes. Aside from the fact that reduced insulin sensitivity and increased blood sugar damages cells, including blood vessels, insulin resistance also adversely affects lipid levels. All of this encourages the buildup of arterial plaque, restricting or even obstructing blood flow. In time, this damages the heart itself. Not surprisingly, insulin resistance is associated with a 50% higher risk of heart failure and strokes.

  1. Cancerous Tumors

Cancer is not something that most of us associated with insulin resistance, but research suggests that there may be a connection. Prolonged insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome may increase the risk of various types of cancer, including breast, bladder, colon, pancreatic, and uterine cancers. It is believed that high insulin levels facilitate tumor growth and also impair the body’s natural defense against malignant cells.

  1. Early Onset Dementia

Although the connection between prolonged insulin resistance and dementia is not clearly understood, studies do suggest that insulin resistance raises the risk. One mechanism is vascular dementia, in which blood vessel damage from insulin resistance leads to reduced blood flow to the brain. Researchers are still investigating the role of insulin resistance in memory function decline and the increased risk of conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

 

How to Cope with Insulin Resistance

In addition to the risks highlighted above, insulin resistance is also connected to a higher risk of kidney disease, high uric acid levels or gout, and PCOS. Fortunately, effective and early management of insulin resistance can counter these risks. Dietary and lifestyle changes to lose weight and get better sleep can help improve insulin sensitivity significantly. In fact, a study that appeared in the International Journal of Obesity, found that 10% of weight loss through diet and exercise could improve insulin sensitivity by 80%. Similarly, sleep deprivation has also been shown to raise insulin resistance. Findings like these highlight the importance of comprehensive lifestyle changes to tackle insulin resistance.

Insulin Resistance

Breaking the insulin resistance cycle involves a number of things, including reducing simple carbohydrate-rich foods, like grains, juices, processed foods, etc, in our diet. Below are 5 guidelines that will help slash insulin resistance and improve blood sugar control overall. This is useful advice with people who have diabetes, PCOS, metabolic syndrome and for those who just need assistance to lose weight. 

  • No naked carbs. What? Since carb-rich foods (legumes, fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and sugar) give us quick energy and have the greatest effect on raising blood sugar levels, it is ideal to have a source of protein or fat with this food to buffer the absorption of sugar going into the bloodstream. For example, an apple (carb) with peanut butter is far more favorable than eating an apple alone.
  • Reduce snacking and eliminate grazing. Be sure to eat enough at each meal (review plate visual) by cueing into your satiety and hunger levels, so you do not need to eat more than three-four times a day. When we have smaller, more frequent meals, we cause our body to produce more insulin, creating higher circulating levels of insulin. High insulin levels cause insulin resistance. Transition to 3 meals and an optional snack each day.
  • Hydrate. Drink 20 ounces of water first thing in morning. I play a game by making myself drink my water before I am allowed to enjoy my coffee. Do what motivates you. Overall, aim to drink half of your weight in ounces every day. For example, if I weigh 200 pounds, I need 100 ounces of water or herbal tea per day. Drinking water is one of the simplest ways to improve your hormone (including insulin) functionality, hunger, and fat-loss.
  • Forecast meals. No need to make a formal meal plan, but spend five minutes a week reviewing which meals you will be eating out or at home. Sketch out at least 3 meals (doubling some of the recipes can save you time) and reflect these meals onto a grocery list. This can help you get in front of your health by making healthy food the obvious choice. It can also help reduce food waste. Win-win.
  • Eat with the sun. Eating during daylight hours supports our natural body clock, and therefore our hormone functioning. The more in sync we are with our circadian rhythm by eating with the sun, we support hormone balance, improving insulin resistance. Doing this also improves sleep and high-quality sleep is the “secret sauce” for health. Additional motives to eat earlier? Data suggests when we eat past 7 PM we increase our insulin secretion by 50 to 70%. High insulin leads to insulin resistance. If you find yourself eating late, make it a smaller, lighter meal.

Intermittent Fasting

IF Printable.

Intermittent fasting (IF) or time-time-restricted eating is an eating schedule, not a type of diet. Our body is always in 1 of 2 states, fasted and fed. In a fasted state (after not consuming any calories for 8-12 hours) insulin levels are low, which makes fat burning easy. During this period, the body gains fuel from stored fat. In the fed state, insulin levels are higher, which interferes with fat burning and allows for energy storing, making fat loss harder. If you eat frequently, insulin level will be consistently high.

Improves: • Metabolism, the gut microbiome, immunity, heart health • Promotes longevity and brain health • Mindful eating • Weight loss (specifically fat loss) • Diabetes and fatty liver

Types of Fasting: • Eating with the sun or fasting for 12/13 hours – a great starting place • 16:8 • 5:2 • 24-hour fasting Intermittent

Before You Begin: • Make sure you are in a good candidate: do your homework and get clearance from you, dietitian and doctor. • Clean up your diet: remove processed foods from your meals as much as possible. • Nurture your sleep and rest when your body signals it needs more rest. • Hydrate and use sea salt with your meals to improve electorate balance and energy. • Understand that real physical hunger comes and goes, it does not amplify. • Have fasting drinks handy: water, black coffee, tea, mineral water, broth. • Find ways to distract yourself for usual eating periods. Keep busy. • Know the benefits of fasting, so you know your goals and emotional drive to stick to it. • Remember to break your fast with a high protein, low-sugar meal and avoid processed foods. Eggs, lean meats and non-starchy vegetables are good options.

Go slow, and be patient in finding what works for you. Fasting should be flexible and work with your life and schedule, especially if you are making it part of your lifestyle. With fasting, you do not have to do it daily. You MUST listen to your body and what it needs.

Note, fasting can feel awkward at first, but within a week or two, your body should adapt. As well, those eating a lower carb diet, even a keto diet, will more easily sustain IF. If you eat predominately carbs (grains, fruit, legumes, sugar, dairy), IF can be harder and even be a stress on your body, increasing cortisol levels. Before you begin, do your homework to make sure you are a good fit.

If you are struggling with adrenal issues or if you are overly stressed IF is not likely a good fit.

 

Blood Sugar-Friendly Snacks

As you review these snack ideas, I challenge you (if you don’t do this already), to forecast your meals and snacks this week.

You can find me doing this every Sunday afternoon, and hopefully as a family, having the kids write the meal ideas on their little dry erase board we have in the kitchen. This meal plan does not and should not be a black and white plan, but can have a huge positive impact on your health.

As for snacks, while minimizing/avoiding them can have a number of benefits, including weight loss, better blood sugar control, and lower insulin levels, there are occasions when our meals are greater than 4-6 hours apart and a snack is beneficial.

On busy days, I will grab one of my fat-bombs to carry me over until dinner. They are such a treat and require only a fraction of a dose of insulin. Try them out and let me know what you think. Recipe to Kelly’s Fat Bombs (GF, DF, Paleo).

Additional Snack Ideas:

Why You Are Struggling With Weight Loss

Weight loss is a hot topic this time of year. Along with melting fat, women more so are looking to get lean! Which we absolutely love. As well, weight loss doesn’t always have to mean losing the pounds, it can mean swapping them for inches so do not obsess over the number on the scale. 

Yet weight loss and fat loss is easier said than done. It doesn’t just take hard work, it takes a plan and strategy. Keep reading to discover how you can make the struggle with weight loss much easier!

You’re Trying The Wrong Diets

If you’re going to try and lose weight, you’re going to have to think about some sort of routine. Even if that means simply cutting out fatty foods that are high in sugar and salt, and swapping them for something a bit greener and leaner. That can be classed as a diet, you don’t have to follow some of the crazy crazes that there are out there. But if you’re going to, there are some that will work better, and quicker than others. The keto diet is one of them, and thousands of people around the world are on the diet right now. Ketogenic diet foods are easy to come by, so it’s not like this fancy diet is going to cost you a fortune. The diet works by reducing carbs to pretty much nothing, if not cutting them all out. This then encourages the liver to produce ketones which are then used as an energy source, these then break down fats. Once you reach an optimal weight, you then really slowly introduce foods higher in carbs, but still, stick to a whole real food diet!

Cheat Days Aren’t Banned

Cheat days definitely aren’t banned. The reason we feel that so many people fail when on a diet, is because they restrict themselves so much. It’s salads and fruits all the way, leaving your body to heavily crave the things you used to feed it with so much. This leads to massive binges on junk food, and it halts any weight loss progress. So, make every day a cheat day, and pick one item to have. A chocolate bar, a bag of crisps, whatever it may be. All you have to do is make sure you’re having one thing in terms of your cheat… and no that does not mean a massive Dairy Milk chocolate bar counts as one. That way, you always have a little treat to look forward to, and won’t feel the need to snack constantly.

Weight Loss Hints for a Healthier You

When you improve your health and well-being, weight loss is often a byproduct. Consider what it takes to look after yourself and try to become healthier in everyday life.

There are various ways to improve your lifestyle, and your health and fitness. These are some of the best ways of keeping yourself in good shape as much as you can.

  • Drink More Water

Drinking more water is absolutely essential when it comes to keeping you hydrated and nourished. If you are serious about becoming healthier and boosting your fitness and well-being, you need to make sure you are drinking more water. There is a lot to keep in mind when it comes how much water you drink, and the accepted amount that you should be drinking is considered to be between 2 and 3 litres. Make sure you come up with plenty of great ideas to help you get into a routine of drinking more water right now.

  • Take up Fitness Classes

Another way of keeping yourself in top condition is to make sure you take up fitness classes. You need to stay in shape and do as much as possible to exercise on a regular basis. This is one of the reasons why a weight loss studio for women is one of the best ways of making sure you stay in shape and keep active. Fitness classes are so important, and they play a major role in the process of boosting fitness and staying healthy as much as possible.

  • Change Your Diet

Make sure you look at what you can do to change your diet and improve your diet. There are a lot of different diets that you could adopt, but it is also essential to make sure you have a balanced diet, focusing on real food and ensure you are tapping into your hunger to eat the right amounts. Making changes to your diet plays a massive part in the process of staying healthy. What’s my biggest tip? Avoid sugar and flour and do not view food as entertainment. Food is fuel. 

  • Kick the Habit

Everyone has bad habits that can affect their health in a negative sense, and you need to make sure you look at how you can kick such obstacles getting in your way.  Cut down on your drinking as much as possible.

There are a lot of things that have to happen if you want to be able to lose weight and stay in good shape. In fact, gaining or losing weight is a combination of small factors. Make small adjustments to your lifestyle and the accumulation of positive change will help you succeed. It’s not always what we are eating. It’s often what is eating us.

Getting Back to Exercise with a Baby in Tow

When you’ve just had a baby, you’ve got a lot to think about and do. Your main focuses are feeding and looking after your baby and getting some sleep. Yet, despite everything else that we’ve got going on, many of us worry about our weight and getting back into our pre-pregnancy jeans. You might also worry about boosting your fitness levels and increasing your stamina.

To start with, it’s crucial to give yourself a break. Concentrate on your baby and your health, eat well, drink lots of water, and give yourself grace. Get as much rest as you can, and remember, it took you ten months to gain your baby weight, it’s okay if it takes just as long to lose it. Don’t rush yourself. Your body has been through considerable stress. Not just giving birth, the whole of your pregnancy has been tough on your body, and it deserves a rest.

But, as soon as you are feeling able, and your doctor has given you the all clear, exercise can be a great idea. Don’t worry about your weight, and don’t push yourself too hard, but getting a little exercise can be good for your health and your mood. It can give you a little much needed time on your own, and it can help you to get some rest. So, how do you manage this with a baby in tow? It doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think.

Get Organized

If you want time to exercise, you might need to get a little more organized. Order diapers, shop in bulk, get into a routine as soon as you can, and get your partner helping out as much as possible.

Start Walking

 

When you’ve got a young baby, walking is the best way to exercise for two reasons. Firstly, it’s relatively easy on your body. Doing more steps each day helps you to burn more calories, works your muscles and helps to boost your fitness levels, without pushing your body too hard. Secondly, you don’t need to find time on your own. Put your baby in their stroller or a sling and take them out with you.

Home Workouts

There are so many workouts on YouTube. Many of which are aimed at new moms. Try yoga and gentle pilates if you want to relax, stretch out and work your muscles. Or have a go at a gentle aerobic routine if you want to get a cardio workout. Start with 10-minute videos, make sure you stretch and increase the length of your workouts when you are able.

If you don’t fancy any proper videos, simple stretches while holding your baby, or dancing around the kitchen with them can be a great workout.

Join a Class or Club

Have a look for new mom exercise classes at your local gym or community center, some of these offer creche services. Alternatively, look at notice boards or social media accounts for your local park. Many play host to moms and strollers groups, where new moms walk and stretch together with their babies. This is a great way to meet new people, get some fresh air and get back into exercise.

 

Could These Small Changes Improve Your Nutrition?

When it comes to your body, you will always be in charge. You are always in control of what goes into your mouth and how much time you carve out to sleep. And yes, I do empathize, because we live in a world of abundance and food choices can seem hard to control. But they don’t have to be.

Grow awareness of what is best for your body and be willing to do the immediate hard thing (avoiding that second glass of wine, or what have you) for the ease later, like enjoying clothes shopping or the likes.

The best way to do this is to actually understand what’s in your food, as well as, improving your thoughts. If you know sticking to a diet isn’t your route, you’ll be glad to know that smaller changes can be way more effective instead. So let’s take a look at some that could help you. 

Knowing What You Need

To start with, you really need to know what your body needs from YOU. You need to slow down and listen to it and your intuition. Often business dulls this inner voice. And understand the benefits each ingredient can have for your body. Or how some things harm you (for myself and many clients, gluten, dairy, eggs, and soy are major problems). So reading up on nutrition and even different supplements, like some of the brands I offer to clients or youngevity 90 for life, is the best place to begin. Because when you know what your body needs, and you read the labels on the foods you buy, you can start to make smarter nutritional choices.

Portion Control

Something that can make a huge difference to how you feel and your waistline, is listening to your hunger and measuring out the right portions. If you are always overeating, then you know that it’s going to lead you to feel sluggish, guilty, and put on weight. So start to control your portions instead and log a few days worth of your caloric intake to learn how much you are eating compared to your needs. I want to emphasize, that the volume of food we eat is important, but we should not become or be calorie-obsessed. Focus more on being calorie aware. 

Nutrient Density

A really quick win is always going for nutrient density. If you want carbs, and you know that fruit has more nutritions that grains, go for that. It’s the same for things like sweet potatoes over chips. Legume-based pasta (like black bean or lentil pasta) over regular pasta. If you choose carefully here, you can make massive improvements without realizing it.

Listening To Your Body

You should also make sure that you’re always listening to your body. Because if you need certain foods or vitamins and you need to stop eating at a certain point, your body will be trying to tell you. So listen to it and always assess your emotions when you want to eat past satiety, or when you have a specific craving for something. You may not need to eat, and you may be wanting food to dull or prolong the feeling. 

When you sense hunger, identify if it’s emotional or physical hunger? Are you craving something specific? Or will you be willing to eat a simple baked white fish and vegetables? Are you even truly hunger? Often we mistake hunger for thirst, and above all, crave eating when we really need more sleep.

Cooking From Scratch

And finally, something that will really start to improve your health is choosing to cook at home (here are some shortcuts). Sure, that premade meal seems easier. And that takeout tastes nice. But both options are not the best when it comes to your nutrition. They can have poorer quality in the nutrients and include excess salt and sugar, which can lead to overeating. But when you’re cooking from scratch, you know exactly what goes into the meal. No MSG, GMOs. No bad ingredients. You are choosing what you are adding into the dish, and you know what you’re feeding yourself.

Small changes can often go a long way.

 

Hormones

What do you get with 1 pregnancy, followed by 10 months of nursing, followed immediately with a second pregnancy, and then 12 months of nursing? One wild ride on a 40 month plus hormone train.

Hormones are fragile, essential, frustrating and amazing all in one. They are often overlooked, but crucial to our health, and a wellness plan. Signs and symptoms of hormonal imbalance include an inability to lose weight, weight gain, cravings, mood swings, brain fog, sleep troubles, excess fatigue, PMS, acne, low tolerance to stress, excess weight around the mid-section and or hips and thighs, and low sex drive, to name a few. This laundry list of symptoms is one that many consumers share, but starting now there are things we can do to improve the hormonal imbalance.

The fist step in finding relief begins with lifestyle and removing the problem(s), beginning with hormone disruptors. These include:

  • Birth control
  • Plastics – coming from Ziplock bags to water bottles, shower curtains, etc. And plastic is tough on our endocrine system beyond BPA. Items will be marketed BPA free, but that doesn’t mean the problem is fixed. Opt for glass water bottles, storage containers, silverware and wash all the kiddie plates/sippy cups verse cleaning and heating them in a dishwasher. Research shows that even low-dose exposure can be harmful. From altered immune function to stimulating cancer, BPA and the likes are not worth it.
  • Skip canned foods, even if it says BPA-free. Opt for frozen, fresh or dried versions for what you need in a meal or recipe. Also, go green and ask for receipts to be sent to your email when possible. Holding a receipt for 5 seconds can transmit endocrine disruptors through the skin.
  • Chemicals in makeup and body/shower products, cleaning supplies, fragrances, detergents, etc. Have you ever read the ingredient list on the products you use on your body and hair? It’s worthwhile as we absorb up to 60% of what we put on our skin. This is especially true for that product we want to work 24/7: deodorant.
  • Hygiene. Wash hands, avoiding fragrance and antibacterial hand soaps, every time before eating.
  • Conventionally grown produce. I had a client comment to me how odd it is that her mouth itches every time she eats an apple that isn’t organic. I echoed how this symptom is uncomfortable, but not far from the norm. Our food is sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and can be contaminated with industrial runoff. As much as possible, buy and eat organic and free-range food to limit exposure to such chemicals.
  • Filtered water is far safer and healthier than tap. Tap water can be contaminated with lead to birth control residue. Filter water for drinking and for bath and shower water.

Secondly, give your liver some love. The liver is not only the fat burning organ but also a detoxing machine. Methods, to nurturing your detox pathways include:

  • supplement wisely (high-quality probiotics, herbs, evening primrose oil, Chaste Tree, methylated vitamins*)
  • eat more real food, grown in nature, than packaged,
  • eat clean protein sources,
  • sweat weekly,
  • drink half of your weight in ounces of clean water, every day,
  • nurture your gut health,
  • stabilize blood sugars,
  • eat balanced meals with animal protein, healthy fat and high-fiber carbohydrates,
  • once diet becomes consistent and balanced, do a reputable food-based cleanse.

Last, but not least, get into the right mindset. Stress competes with sex hormones, and if you ar chronically under stress, your other efforts in regulating hormones are nearly a wash. A few things I recommend: start the day with a list of things you are grateful for. You can do this in your head, or better yet, whip out a journal. Today I am grateful for my children’s smiles, for my insulin pump and my iPhone, so I can Facetime and easily connect with my husband while he is traveling. At the end of the day, in bed, run through some winnings you had for the day. Last night I listed out 1) my blood sugar never went over 151 mg/dl, 2) I had a badass workout, 3) I had some really good client interactions, 4) I fueled myself with a lot of nutritious food, and my kids ate decently too. Getting my kids excited about some of the foods I make them, becomes an art and a balancing act.

Stress isn’t bad, but if we can’t manage it, it becomes harmful. Reel it in, use it to help you grow, and let go of what you can. Get plenty of rest and go live your fullest life, being patient with your journey. Balancing hormones can take 3-6 months on average, but it depends on the case and level of commitment.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kelly

 

*Vitamins are tricky. Bottom-line you want to source vitamins that are pharmaceutical grade and sold from a health practitioner. Supplements are not FDA regulated and you want to be careful with what brands you trust. Getting supplements from a health practitioner is the best method to know you are supplementing correctly and getting a high-quality end product. If you need help, flick me an email at [email protected] 

 

 

 

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