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Posted by on Feb 11, 2018 in Featured Posts, Nutritional Tips & Tricks, Sugar, Toxic Foods | 0 comments

Break the Sugar Habit

Break the Sugar Habit

Taking small steps to becoming sugarless is the key to achieving and maintaining proper blood sugar metabolism and is essential for a lifetime of health.  Prolonged unhealthy blood sugar metabolism leads to several problems that can affect your nerves, eyes, kidneys, and pancreas.

Obesity, lack of exercise and an unhealthy diet are considered major contributors to developing poor blood sugar. When we consume excess sweets, refined or processed foods; the simple sugars they contain are absorbed very quickly and can cause a rapid and dramatic increase in blood sugar levels.  Applying these easy tips, can be easy as 1-2-3; you can ensure by doing this that you will continue to support your body with less sugar

Read the labels

Sugar comes in many forms on food labels.  The FDA has refused to add “Added Sugars” line to the label under “Sugars” section.   The goal is to limit the amount of sugars.  Compare products.

Avoid desserts

Make a decision to eat fewer desserts because they’re typically loaded with sugar. Try a cup of green or herbal chai tea your meal, instead of the added sweet treat or simply try fruit! Remember fruit is full of natural sugars, fiber rich, and is naturally fat free. Fresh apples, kiwi, or berries are a great choice for satisfying your sweet tooth. If your will power fails you while dining out, order one dessert and share it. Save on calories, sugar intake, fat, and your pocketbook!

Sugar replacements

Raw honey can be a replacement for sugar in most recipes and as it is much sweeter than sugar. Raw honey is easier on the body and does not cause a huge insulin surge like refined sugar will.  In any recipe I always halve the amount of sugar. You can also replace sugar with applesauce or pureed prunes, pears, or apricots. Research suggests that raw honey has active phytonutrients such as enzymes – as well as its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties – which contribute to its vast array of health benefits. But even honey should also be used on a limited basis.  However, because honey can cause a dangerous disease known as botulism in infants and children under the age of one, never consume honey, raw or pasteurized. Honey is still a sugar, so use minimally.  Whenever we eat too many sweeteners the liver can become overwhelmed, and turn the excess to fat.

Check out jam 

You’d think buying a jar of jam labeled “organic” might be your best pick, but read the label. The jar I pulled from the shelf was loaded with sugar, even though the fruit was organic. I do prefer organic products, but don’t be fooled. Your best bet for buying jam is to look for an all fruit jam or spread or one labeled 100 % fruit. Those products contain only fruit, possibly fruit juice and no added sugar, fructose, or high fructose syrup. The label will indicate sugar, but it is natural sugar from the fruit. Strawberry and peach are my favorites.

Bottom Line

Unfortunately, many foods claim to be healthy, but as you know, this can be misleading.  Always read the label, eat real wholesome food. Look for products with “no added sugar”.

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Posted by on Feb 7, 2018 in Detox, Good Living, Toxic Foods | 0 comments

We Live In A Toxic World

We Live In A Toxic World

 

We are surrounded by toxins on a daily basis. Diet is a major contributor to toxins in today’s world.  Have you considered doing a detox diet, or paleo diet to help rid you body of toxic foods and buildup? A paleo diet includes fresh, whole fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, organic and grass fed beef, poultry, wild fish, and no processed foods. Review some  simple steps to reduce your toxic exposure.

Eat an organic, unprocessed diet whenever possible

It is not always possible to eat organic, but whenever you can, do.  By opting to eat organic, you will avoid pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). Pesticides, particularly organophosphates and carbamate have been linked to cancer and cause nerve damage. GMO’s have been linked to infertility, immune problems, insulin issues, allergies and damage to the gastrointestinal system. If a food is labeled organic, it cannot be genetically modified and is generally lower in pesticides and chemicals.

Filter your water

I recommend using  a carbon filter system, which is the most effective at filtering out chemicals such as arsenic, fluoride, chlorine, lead, copper, and mercury. It is good to have a whole house filtering system, or especially a Berkey system for your drinking water.  Always carry a BPA free water bottle. such as the Berkey Sports Bottle to filter out unwanted toxins.

Check out your toiletries

The best way to keep up with your toiletry products is to go to EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) website.  Shampoos, creams, makeup, perfumes, toothpaste, deodorant and other items are not regulated meaning they do not have to undergo any safety testing. This can be very misleading to the consumer because “organic” and “natural” may mean nothing.  Avoid products containing parabens, fluoride, propylene glycol, formaldehyde, lead, mercury, aluminum, sodium laurel sulfate, and phthalates.  These chemicals are linked to many reproductive problems.

Household cleaners to toss

Dangerous chemicals are formaldehyde, thiourea (carcinogen), perchloroethylene, nonylphenol ethoxylate, DEGME are all found in products that we use regularly.  EWG is another great source for recommendations for cleaning compounds.  Did you know manufacturers do not adequately disclose what is in their products?  A great recommendation is to make your own household cleaners  with such ingredients as vinegar, baking soda, tea tree oil and hot water.

The overall goal is to make some simple changes so you can  reduce your exposure to toxins and reduce the toxic load to your body.

Information summarized from Paleo magazine. Paleo magazine can be ordered online from Amazon or purchased at your local health food store.

 

 

 

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Posted by on Feb 5, 2018 in Featured Posts, Good Living, Health Awareness, Nourishing Foods | 0 comments

Heart Healthy Superfoods

Heart Healthy Superfoods

Worried about your diet and whether you’re getting the foods you need?  While you may know fast foods can lead to heart disease, most people don’t realize that good food can actually improve your heart.  Include these super foods on a regular basis and be on your way to better heart health.  Supercharge your defenses, eat smart, and eat well! 

Wild Salmon is the superstar of the Omega 3 fats, which reduce inflammation and heart disease.  It’s critical to have the proper balance of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.  It’s easy to get the Omega 6 fatty acids from corn, safflower, cottonseed, and sunflower oils, but it’s more difficult to get the Omega 3 fatty acids.  While other fish like halibut, sardines, mackerel contain Omega 3 fats, wild salmon tops the list because of its higher content.  Farmed salmon eat grains,  which means they produce very little Omega 3 fatty acids.  Include wild salmon 2-3 times per week to protect your heart.

walnutsWalnuts are also rich in Omega 3 fats and plant sterols, which lower cholesterol. Walnuts provide fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats to lower risks of heart disease.  Finely chop nuts to coat meats, fish, and poultry. Include a handful of nuts daily to protect your heart, and don’t be afraid to include almonds, pistachios, or macadamia nuts.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.  Olives, both green and black are another source of good fat which can be eaten by themselves or added to salad.

Kiwifruit is an amazingly, high fiber, tasty fruit which is very rich in antioxidants, and phytonutrients to fight heart disease.  Remember fiber helps lower cholesterol.  There is even research showing that kiwi works as a blood thinner.  Rich in fiber and healthy enzymes, kiwis can be added to smoothies; peel, seeds and all.

Avocados are the only fruit that contains monounsaturated fat. This type of good fat lowers cholesterol and is packed with monounsaturated fat which  lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body. This rich supply of healthy fat along with other nutrients and phytochemicals in avocados promote cardiac health.

Flax seeds are high in fiber as well as omega-3 fatty acids which are good for your heart. Another reason is their high fiber content. Add them to your smoothies or on top of your salad.

Blueberries as well as other strawberries and other berries are rich in anthocyanins and flavanoids which can help to dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure. Anthocyanins give plants their red and blue colors.

Pomegranates contains numerous antioxidants, including heart-promoting polyphenols and anthocyanins which may help stave off hardening of the arteries. Compounds found only in pomegranates called punicalagins are shown to benefit the heart and blood vessels. Punicalagins are the major component responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. They not only lower cholesterol, but also lower blood pressure and increase the speed at which heart blockages (atherosclerosis) melt away.

Green tea can bring significant health benefits.  It has been shown that people who drink four or more cups of green tea daily have a 205 reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke compared to those who seldom drink the beverage.  Green tea is also rich in catechins. Matcha Green Tea is a delicate and has a naturally sweet taste and is the highest antioxidant tea anywhere.

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Whole foods contain a variety of phytonutrients, vitamins, enzymes, minerals, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, fiber, and healthy fats. Include more plant foods such as fruits and vegetables. Fiber rich foods lower cholesterol. Enjoy this tropical salsa, a great way to get your essential fiber, phytonutrients and healthy fats.

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Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Featured Posts, Good Living | 0 comments

Miracles of Water

Miracles of Water

We take for granted how important water is to our bodies. Look what happens to your plant if you forget to water it. Our bodies are no different. Water is the most important healing tool and the foundation for health and wellness. Drinking adequate water every day is essential for well being.

Amazing functions

Water transports vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, as well as oxygen and waste products in and out of our cells. Two-thirds of our body is made up of water. It detoxifies the kidney and liver, cushions and lubricates joints and organs, moves nerve impulses, improves brain function and maintains body temperature.  Water is essential for building and maintaining muscle.  Muscles are made up of 70% water, and if your muscles are dehydrated you will have a lack of strength and control.

Why are we dehydrated?

Despite what we know about the importance of water, it’s easy to become dehydrated. Here are a few reasons why it may happen to you:

  • A faulty thirst alarm in the brain
  • Dissatisfaction with the taste of water
  • Exercise, which increases the amount of water lost
  • Living in a dry, hot climate
  • Consuming natural diuretics like caffeine and alcohol
  • A reduced awareness of thirst or declining thirst, especially in the elderly

How much water do you need?  

Divide your weight by 2 to find out how much water you need each day.  If you weigh 150 lbs, drink 75 ounces of water or about 9 cups of water each day. Try drinking 2-3 ounces of water at one time to avoid becoming water logged.  For every 20 minutes of exercise, add 8 ounces of additional water.

Best times to drink water

It may sound unmanageable to drink 8-9 cups of water each day, so try these tips:

  • Jumpstart your day with a glass of water when you get up
  • Drink water between meals
  • When you are tired, drink more water as it stimulates the brain and improves energy levels
  • Drink water before each meal as a natural appetite suppressant
  • Drink water before, during, and after you exercise
  • Drink when you are not thirsty
  • Drink an extra amount of water to compensate for the water loss with alcohol or coffee
  • If ill or have a fever “drink plenty of fluids”.  Drinking more water will help wash the germs away and help remove the toxins.

Water helps you look younger by keeping your skin plump and radiant. My favorite 64 oz. water bottle, hands down is the Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Wide Mouth Water Bottle because it is insulated stainless steel. What a great way to keep track of how much water you are drinking. If a 64 oz. bottle is too big, try the 32 oz. Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Wide Mouth Bottle.

I like it because it is straight stainless steel, no plastic, no bpa, no liners. This is a clean metal and perfect for hiking, exercising, or traveling.  It’s wide mouth opening allows you to drink or pour large amounts of liquid at once. Although it is marketed as a beer growler, most use it as a water bottle. It comes with a lifetime warranty, and 5% of your purchase goes to a charity of your choice.

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Posted by on Jan 30, 2018 in Dairy, Foodie Facts, Gluten, Health Awareness, Sugar, Toxic Foods | 0 comments

Are Processed Foods Toxic?

Are Processed Foods Toxic?

The sharp increase of sugar in the American diet over the last few decades is a result of our dependence on processed foods. Sugar is found in so many hidden forms, and especially in overly-processed foods. It not only comes as white, brown, or powdered sugar, but as high fructose corn syrup, corn sweetener, honey, molasses, dextrose, sucrose, maltose, and all kinds of syrups. The next time you’re at the grocery store take a look at all the “maple syrups.”  You’ll likely find only one or two brands that are actually pure maple syrup. The rest will have added ingredients such as corn syrup or maple “flavorings” that are high in caloric content and low in nutrients.

High fructose corn syrup

Perhaps one of the most harmful types of sugar is high fructose corn syrup. Not so long ago, most of our sugar came from sugar cane or sugar beets. These sources of sugars provided excellent sources of the B vitamins, magnesium, and chromium, but when processed, all these nutrients are removed.  In the last 30 years, high fructose corn syrup has become a very popular substitute for sugar by manufacturers because it lengthens shelf life, is less expensive, and is very sweet. It’s also currently being blamed for the alarming rise of obesity in America. Start scanning labels and you’ll find corn syrup in sodas, protein bars, cakes, cookies, syrups, luncheon meats, condiments, and salad dressings.

Grains:  unrefined and refined

Before processed foods, people ate grains in their whole state or, in other words, the grain was unrefined. Unrefined grains are heavy in texture and still contain the bran and germ. Therefore, they are higher in fiber, contain more vitamins and minerals, and keep your stomach “fuller” which decreases your appetite. Today we now eat those same foods, but they are overly-processed or have been refined by machinery. The refining process strips grains of essential nutrients, especially the B vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber. The B vitamins are necessary for carbohydrate metabolism and, if missing, the conversion of carbohydrate to energy is blocked. Most refined carbohydrates are digested quicker, raise the blood sugar, and leave you hungry.

White bread, white sugar, and white pasta are examples of refined grains. If it’s white, it’s probably not good for you. These products have all been stripped and are missing the vital nutrients.  My thought process is just avoid the grains.

Check the label

Processed foods are popular because they are quick and easy. But don’t be fooled, processed foods have a lot of extra ingredients like bad fats, sugars, food colorings, artificial flavorings, and preservatives. The next time you purchase ketchup, read the label.

Store bought salad dressing is a perfect example of a product that typically has many hidden ingredients that aren’t good for you.  Take a look at fat-free ranch dressing the next time you’re shopping. To prove that salad dressing can be simple and good, I’m including a healthy salad recipe with no processed ingredients.

 

 

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