Is Fiber Good for Weight Loss?

Always feeling hungry? Can’t control your appetite some days? Increasing fiber in your diet might be just the solution you need.

With so many recommendations on what to do, how to eat and when, it quickly becomes difficult to make the right food choices when trying to manage your weight or chronic illnesses.

 

fiber

 

Did you know boosting your fiber intake provides these benefits and more: 

  • Keeps you fuller longer
  • Helps with weight loss/maintenance
  • Reduces cravings
  • Improves cholesterol
  • Better blood sugar control
  • Regular bowel movements
  • Improves heart health

 

Closing the Fiber Gap

How much fiber should you be eating?

Ladies, aim for a minimum of 25 grams a day.

Gentlemen, aim for a minimum of 38 grams a day.

However, studies have found that Americans only average about 15 grams of fiber a day, about half of the recommended total dietary fiber intake.

Increase your dietary fiber by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. Filling your plate with these whole, unprocessed foods is the first step to take toward increasing your fiber consumption. Consistently eating well-balanced meals that include these foods will ensure that your getting the right amount of this nutrient.

 

Carbohydrate:Fiber Ratio

Overconsumption of carbohydrates is a common concern for many of us, mainly because this macronutrient turns to sugar in the blood stream which then gets stored as fat, making it easy to gain weight.

It is the quality of carbohydrates that should be of greater concern, rather than the quantity. Consuming carbohydrates with high fiber content can reduce the glucose levels after a meal.  

Because fiber is not broken down by the body, it has no effect on blood glucose. Therefore, the grams of fiber can actually be subtracted from the total grams of carbs you are eating.

When making food choices seek out food options with a good fiber to carbohydrate ratio to reduce the foods impact on blood glucose levels.

 

Make it a habit to include fruits and vegetables with each meal.  

Vegetables high in fiber include leafy greens, squashes, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. They can be enjoyed in stir-fries, casseroles, soups, and salads and steamed as a side dish.

 

Many fruits are also high in fiber, like apples, pears, oranges, peaches and more. Berries are an especially great choice because while they are high in fiber, they are also low in calorie.  Incorporate fruits into your diet as a convenient snack or as toppings for breakfast cereal, yogurt, salads, and desserts.  

 

fiber up

 

Whole grains are a popular and simple way to increase dietary fiber. The downfall with this is that many whole grain foods are overly processed and the labeling can be misleading.  

Beware of processed cereals and bars as they often have high sugar content and less fiber compared to other dietary fiber options. Swap the usual white bread for whole wheat bread and exchange white rice for brown rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, barley or other ancient grains. Consider different types of pasta options like whole wheat pasta, edamame pasta, or  lentil pasta.

 

Nuts and seeds also provide a great source of fiber. A handful of these packs a powerful fiber punch. They make for a nutritious snack, or extra addition to yogurts, salads and desserts.

 

Don’t forget about beans and legumes. These are one of the most naturally rich sources of fiber. If you experience gas and discomfort with high bean intake, consider starting off slowly when introducing these into your diet.

fiber beans

 

Try incorporating more of the recommended foods discussed here and notice the impact this powerful nutrient has on curbing your appetite and controlling blood sugar control.  This, in turn, helps with weight loss/maintenance and prevents/ manages diseases. 

 

Tips to Consider When Increasing Your Fiber:  

  • Increase consumption gradually (add 5g of fiber per day, spread throughout the day, until you reach your goal)
  • Keep edible skin on fruits and veggies
  • Limit starchy foods
  • Choose whole wheat over white
  • Reduce foods high in sugar (especially added sugars)
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day to avoid constipation

 

I Challenge You…

to take a look at how much fiber is in your diet today. Does it measure up to the recommended minimum of 25g/day for women or 38g/day for men? 

How do you plan to increase your dietary fiber this week? –>  Here’s a great resource that might help you with that! 

 

Best,

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*** You might also enjoy my past posts on: Eating more Veggies and Fruits  AND Balsamic Roasted Carrots Recipe ***

 


 

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Healthy Travel Snacks to Pack on Your Next Trip

In my last post I shared some practical ways to stay healthy while traveling. A large part of that involves being prepared with healthy snacks. Here are a few of my favorites…

healthy travel snacks

I like healthy travel snacks that are as minimally, processed as possible, will fill me up, satisfy my sweet tooth, and still be nutritious. These are snacks I typically bring along for plane rides, road trips, or weekends away. I tend to make poor food choices when I’m not prepared, so I am always careful to carry healthy travel snacks with me.  

FiggyPops-

These balls of goodness satisfy my sweet tooth without the chemicals and additives of similar products. They are sweetened with fruit juice instead of high fructose corn syrup. I especially love that they are made with whole, plant-based ingredients like:  organic figs, organic cashews, organic dates, organic coconut, organic walnuts, organic dried tart cherries (organic dried tart cherries, organic apple juice, organic sunflower oil), organic gluten-free oats, organic coconut oil, organic cacao nibs, organic maple syrup, organic cinnamon, sea salt.

 

Dried Dates-

Dried fruits can get a bad rep for being high in sugar and because of the way they are sometimes processed. These particular dates are unsulfured and taste like caramel. They are not quite as sweet as the common medjool dates, but I would say they are just as good.

To balance out the glycemic load (insulin spike) of the dates, I pair them with healthy fats like a handful of nuts or better yet a little almond butter inside the date. So good!

 

 

Roasted Chickpeas-

You can totally make these yourself at home by roasting salted chickpeas at 400 degrees until crunchy. If you want something a bit more convenient though, these Good Bean chickpeas make for great healthy travel snacks (one of my favorites actually); and they satisfy that craving for something salty. They come in several flavors, but I prefer the plain, salted one.

Suggestion: Mix them in with chopped dates, roasted edamame and nuts to make a satisfying trail mix.

 

 

Roasted Edamame –

Another great snack! This one is filling and also goes great in a DIY trail mix.

Each serving has 13g of protein per serving and 8g of fiber.

They’re also Non-GMO which is a rare find considering more than 90% of soy is genetically modified. A bit of caution with this product: if you have issues with excess water retention, high blood pressure or heart disease beware of the sodium content (150mg per serving). Always read those nutrition labels my friends.

 

 

Vegan nutrition powders –

I tend to use these travel sized nutrition powders as a quick breakfast option. They hold me over until lunch and ensure that at least one of my meals is packed with the essential vitamins, antioxidants, and nutrition my body needs to thrive.

It can also make for a great latte when mixed into coffee.

 

 

BarkThins-

I wouldn’t necessarily say this is the healthiest snack BUT a girl needs her chocolate fix ya’ know! I love the dark chocolate with pumpkin seeds because I can get my sweets AND some antioxidants, healthy fats, + a little protein. These are really good people!

 

 

 

Kind Bars-

Recently Kind Bars were ridiculed a bit for their high fat content, but looking at research I have found evidence that fat doesn’t make us fat. Sugar does!

These bars are made with wholesome ingredients and are low in sugar. Regardless, you should still read the nutrition labels because there are several different types of Kind bars with varying nutritional content. These particular ones come in several flavors and I have yet to have a flavor I did not enjoy.  I eat them for breakfast or between meals.  These are my go-to healthy travel snacks.

 

 

Chia Warrior bars-   

I recently discovered these little bars and have become quite fond of them. I usually buy a box of 5. Each bar is 100 calories. They have plenty of fiber along with healthy omega 3 fats. There are different flavor options, but I have only tried chocolate peanut butter and the superfood protein peanut butter cacao. (I have a thing for peanut butter, in case you didn’t know). Anyway, both of those flavors are yummy and I would recommend them over Kind bars if your searching for a small between meal snack.

 

 

Lenny & Larry Cookies – 

These “complete” cookies are vegan, soy free, and dairy free. They have tons of fiber and protein. I usually only eat half the cookie if I just want a filling snack. Eat the entire cookie for a meal replacement. 

 

One final tip – 

No matter where you are, access to fresh produce and water are usually easily available.

Stock up on fruits and raw veggies to complement these other snacks. My favorites are baby carrots and raw broccoli. For fruits, I usually go for berries, peaches, bananas, or apples (depending on what is in season/ available). Nothing can truly replace the nutrients and benefits from fruits and vegetables, so don’t forget to include these on your list of healthy travel snacks. 

It’s very easy to forget to stay hydrated when you’re busy sightseeing, but drinking plenty of water will not only curb your appetite but keep you energized and strengthen the immune system.

healthy travel snacks

Yes this does take a little planning, but not much! Feeling your best during and after your vacation is worth the small amount of time you’ll spend packing these snacks. Of course you don’t have to bring them all! These are just suggestions of my favorites. Try out the ones that appeal to you and take them along on your next trip 🙂

What’s your favorite healthy snack? 

 

Happy snacking,

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*** You might also like this post: ‘ How to Stay Healthy on Vacation ‘ and ‘ Eating Healthy While Eating Out ‘

 


 

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How to Get Your Fitness Groove Back

How to Get Your

 

Recently I found myself in a serious health and fitness slump lasting several weeks. Oopsy! It happens. There had just been so much excitement lately and I was grateful for every minute of it– traveling, hosting guests, celebrating, and just life in general! Life gets busy. That’s just a fact! But how does one stay healthy when they’re so busy? How do you pull yourself out of a slump? I’ve learned it’s important to live a little, not take yourself so seriously and find YOUR version of balance. 

The old me would have freaked out and felt guilty for getting a little fluffly and “slipping up”. New me (balanced me) is more forgiving. Instead of cutting calories like crazy or doing extreme exercise to try to mitigate the damage, I re-focused and re-motivated myself. The hardest part about getting back into a health and fitness routine is the actual getting started part. We all know WHY we should adopt these healthy habits, but just can’t seem to work up to taking action. That first step is THE most difficult, but once you take it the momentum begins building up. It may feel like your momentum is dead and gone, but you absolutely can bring it back to life.

 

Here’s what I do to pull myself out of a slump & get my groove back–

Get Inspired baby!

I am a very visual person so I’m very inspired by photos. Platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube really help spark my fire. So while it doesn’t help burn calories, it will get you into a better mindset. So scroll away and pin that sh*t. I’m also very big on reading so I enjoy checking out other blogs and news related to the wellness arena. Reading other people’s’ stories especially motivates me to get off my tush and get back to those healthy habits asap. And a killer Spotify playlist helps get me in the right mood to get moving and be active. 

Be warned, however, that sometimes images online and in the media have negative effects on us. They might actually make us feel bad about ourselves because we think we have to aspire to these false body images. If you find yourself feeling this way then redirect to more encouraging forms of media or just avoid this step altogether.

Check out one of my previous posts for more on finding inspiration and getting motivated.

 

Weaning off the addictions..

All those biscuits, chocolates and pizzas taste soooo good they become addictive. One of the toughest things to overcome after I’ve gone on a bender are the cravings! It’s amazing how quickly the body becomes addicted to the sugar, salt, fat and chemical additives of foods. Choosing a spinach salad over a warm burrito suddenly becomes a ridiculous thing to do. At this point, I just give in to the cravings…if it’s convenient, that is! So I make it very inconvenient. First, I clean out my cupboards of anything unhealthy or foods I tend to binge on (goodbye tortilla chips, see you later almond butter).  Second, I make it a point to eat out only once (max twice) a week. Ensuring that most of what I consume is homemade will already help me eat a little better.  And once I add consistent exercise back into the equation, things start to get a lot more comfortable and controllable.

 

Getting my fitness groove back..

Consistent exercise makes me a better person. For real! We all know that nutrition is 80% and exercise is 20% of our results, but the two are so very connected. When I workout, I feel better about myself which in turn, makes me want to fuel my body with nourishing, healthy foods. Boom! That’s where the magic happens. This works for me because I want instant gratification. Working out instantly makes me feel better and confident about getting back on track.  When I slip up, I always focus on finding my exercise routine again, THEN I work on nutrition. It works best for me this way, but you might find a different “formula” for yourself.  

fitness

Once I’m inspired, I find a little motivation. I take that tiny bit of motivation and exercise. At first my workouts are short and I kinda hate it but I come back the next day, and the next, until it becomes a habit again. I start building up that momentum and feeling good, remembering how awesome I feel after a good sweat sesh. Then I slowly start becoming more conscious of my food decisions because I like feeling this good and I don’t want to undo that. Day by day I keep up with the exercise, the nutrition, and keep the fire burning with positive inspiration. Sure, things come up in life and I get off track but I don’t drown in guilt or punish myself (and neither should you).

Always remember to just go back to basics until you find that groove again.

 

Your Turn

I would love to know how you maintain YOUR balance. How do you get your groove back after a setback?  We stand to learn so much from each other so share, share, share! <3

 

If you’re struggling with finding your way to a healthy routine shoot me a message. I reply to all of my emails and love getting to know my fellow readers & help them find easy solutions to their challenges. PrescribingHealth@gmail.com

 

 

With love,

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Overcome Overeating

OVERCOME

What comes to mind when you think of food?

What comes to mind for me are feelings of comfort, joy, family, and energy. How we view the food we eat, what we see it as being, impacts our whole attitude towards it. In my opinion, food is good! It is part of creation and provides nourishment, strength and even celebration. So therefore I often find myself asking “Why shouldn’t I indulge a little?” As soon as that thought crosses my mind, it’s as if I have already given myself permission to overeat without even realizing it.

Too often I have ordered an oversized, artery clogging, calorie-dense dessert after dinner (all for myself of course), knowing I probably shouldn’t but also telling myself “it’s okay because it’s a special occasion.” Or every time my mom or a family member serves me a heaping plate of food, “I have to eat it all or they will be offended,” I think to myself. Or that feeling of failure when I realize I just accidentally ate the whole bag of popcorn while watching Scandal. What about year after year of feeling regret following the holiday season because of weight gained from overindulging. Isn’t the purpose of Thanksgiving to stuff your face? No! Can you relate to these situations?

My excuses to overeat were becoming more of a habit. One day I just realized there would always be something to celebrate, someone offering me more food, a movie to watch, or a special event to attend. If we are being really honest with ourselves, we know that we often overeat those foods that AREN’T so good for us—I know this is true for me. I was undoing all of my hard work at the gym by overeating. I was tired of feeling so out of control and decided to overcome this consuming habit. Overeating doesn’t just destroy your physical progress, but actually increases body fat and results in negative health impacts like chronic diseases. My health and my life are more important than buttery popcorn, decadent desserts, and greasy fries. Is yours? I’m determined to start 2016 off with better habits and that includes overcoming overeating!

Why don’t I have more self-control?

I would ask myself this ALL THE TIME. I realized part of my overeating was because I wasn’t paying attention while I ate. I noticed I would often overeat if I had my dinner or snack while watching TV.  I was also more likely to mindlessly munch if I was stressed and rushing, because I would inhale my food instead of taking time to chew it properly.
Food addiction is another main reason it can be difficult to stop eating when we’re full and satisfied. If a diet includes many processed foods high in saturated fats, added sugars, and salt, the body becomes addicted. It begins to experience similar changes in the brain as drugs cause and dependency develops.

Restrictive dieting can also destroy any chance of self-control you might have. Labeling any foods as “off limits” usually leads to overeating later on, because we always want what we can’t have right? 😉 And the final blow to our lack of self-control is sabotage. Yes, our willpower is sneakily crushed by things like advertising, fad diets, convenience, social and cultural pressures. I mean, seriously, I get hungry just looking at Pinterest!

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How do I overcome overeating?

Everyday we make several decisions when it comes to what we put into our bodies. If I was going to overcome overeating and break the cycle, I had to implement some strategies. So here is what I came up with, what I continue to practice daily, and what I find works for me.

Yes, we were made to consume food, but food was never supposed to consume us. You can overcome overeating by addressing your mindset first. Reinforce your commitment to your health by immersing your mind and spirit in positive experiences, whether it be a book or self care practices (like a warm bath, getting a massage, speaking out positive affirmations). These things make you feel good about yourself and bring you confidence that overindulging in food will not.
Stop mindless eating by pausing before a meal to bring awareness and gratitude to what you are about to eat. Give your meal your full attention by not eating in front of the television or even at your desk at work. Break your food addictions by eating nutrient dense foods made with whole, unrefined ingredients. Foods like vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, and unrefined tubers/starches provide a higher nutrient value are not as calorie heavy as processed convenience foods. They are also generally higher in fiber and are more likely to fill you up at a lower calorie cost. While we should strive to eat healthier foods, if you’re REALLY craving something allow yourself to give in to that craving, but in moderation. Give yourself permission to have a little, otherwise you’ll binge on it later.
When it comes to societal sabotages, all you can do is learn to recognize them and develop healthy habits strong enough to overcome them. Change the channel when you see a food commercial (if it has a commercial, it’s probably bad for you), plan to leave half of your meal, check the menu in advance and plan to order a healthier dish, share your dessert, and don’t think it is OKAY to eat something you know is bad for you just because every one else is eating it.

The struggle to say “NO” to temptations may be painful in the moment but it’s just that- it’s momentary! Don’t trade healthy food for junk food. Don’t give up the fulfillment of a healthy life for a temporary moment.

A few more tips:
Make it inconvenient! Stash your unhealthy foods on a high shelf or behind a stack of heavy plates. Your less likely to eat it if it’s hard to get to.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind– Hide that candy dish that’s always sitting on your desk.
Eat slowly and drink water between bites, chew food thoroughly. It can take 12 to 20 minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain. Give your body time to process what you’re giving it.
Don’t Skip meals– Waiting more than 3 hours between meals will increases your chances of overeating at your next meal.

This holiday season, I believe that you can overcome overeating. I won’t lie to you and say it’s easy. It’s something I have to be mindful of often, but keeping these tips in mind I find myself overeating LESS often.  That’s what I strive for, progress not perfection!  Do not start 2016 off with resolutions that reflect failures from this year. End 2015 by defeating destructive behaviors like overeating. It will take a lot of work but be persistent in your efforts. Hardwork pays off.

xoxo,

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Beet Juice Recipe

the Hurricane

This weekend we experienced some pretty terrible weather with the impending approach of a Category 4 hurricane (Joaquin). Luckily, Joaquin decided to take a detour and spare us from even more dangerous weather.  Nevertheless, it was still dark and stormy out with all day rain– totally ruined my half marathon training, but life goes on.  While I was “rained in” I decided to experiment with a weather-inspired beet juice recipe.  I call this baby The Hurricane since it was “born” into existance in the midst of hurricane Joaquin’s threat to strike the east coast

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I would like to point out that this juice is not very sweet.  That is because I try to create juices with the highest nutrient concentration possible, while keeping sugar content low.  I do this by using more vegetables than fruits in my recipes.  This helps keep your blood sugar stable but still allow for delivery of high dose nutrients to your body.

Here I used one of my least favorite vegetables- beets! But never fear- it’s only ONE (or half of one) and I promise it doesn’t taste as scary as it looks 😉  Ever dislike something even though you knew it was amazingly good for you? Yup! So why did I choose to use beetroot in my juice? Ah that is because I would never otherwise eat it & benefit from it unless it was in my juice.

beets

Beets are a great source of antioxidants and nitrates which provide increased energy by improving blood flow. Because of this, beet juice has been shown to help the body respond better to exercise. It’s even been shown to help with blood pressure!

Make sure to wash beets well because they are usually pretty filthy. I peeled the beetroot and trimmed off the beet greens.  Beet greens can be a bit strong in juices and it was not the flavor profile I was going for here, so I put them away to be sautéed on another day.

 

parsley

I also added a handful of flat-leaf parsley. I love adding fresh herbs to juices, it really freshens up the flavor not to mention herbs like parsley and cilantro are fantastic for several health conditions.  Parsley is high in chlorophyll, vitamin C, folate and iron but one does not normally eat enough parsley in day-to-day life to actually experience any improvements, so juicing it is the perfect way to obtain all of the health benefits of this wonder herb. But beware! This is potent stuff when juiced so limit consumption to 1 oz per day and it should not be taken by itself (always juice it with other veggies & fruits).  I personally prefer the Italian flat-leaf parsley to the curly parsley.  I found the curly parsley to have a soapy taste when I juice it. Again, remember to only use a small handful of this stuff until you’ve acquired a taste for it.

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I decided to throw in 1 large carrot to add some sweetness.  This helped balance out the strong flavors from the beet and parsley.  If you are worried about the beet (like i was in the beginning) start with just one-half of a beet in the juice.

The final ingredients to the Hurricane juice recipe include some of my staple juice ingredients: lemon, celery and kale.  I found it was cheaper and more convenient to purchase baby kale in a 5oz container from the Earthbound brand instead of the actual giant kale leaves.  Sometimes I find the giant kale leaves to be cheaper, but not this time and they looked a little sad & droppy too. So organic baby kale in a container it was!

I only used 2 celery sticks here because celery can also have a very strong flavor if you add too much. And the final ingredient was a lemon (peeled of course).  Feel free to add more or less of any ingredient according to your taste preferences 🙂  When I first started juicing I really preferred sweeter tasting juices so I would use a lot more fruit and more lemon/lime, but as time has gone on I’ve started to enjoy bolder but fresh flavors. I’m sure you’ll experience the same thing as your taste buds become re-trained.

lemon and greens

I invite you to try this juice at home and adjust it to fit YOU.  Juicing is such a great way to obtain a high concentration of micronutrients and antioxidants!  It’s a fantastic way to give your body a high dose of goodness, remove toxins, kill cravings and reboot your health.  This juice in particular will give you all of these benefits AND it’s low calorie, low in sugar content, and perfect for fall weather.  Have it as a snack or pre-workout fuel.

So give it a try & ENJOY.  As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or drop me a comment below.


Ingredients:

1 or 1/2  beetroot

1 large carrot (optional)

1 lemon (peeled)

2 celery sticks

3oz baby kale or about 8 large kale leaves

1 handful of fresh parsley

Directions: Process all ingredients through juicer and enjoy. Makes about 6 to 8oz. If storing for later consumption, be sure fill your container up to the top with filtered water to prevent oxidation. Juice will last in this manner for up to 48hrs.


Juice On,

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Cough and Cold Remedies

cough and cold remedies

I am almost half way through training for my very first half marathon, but this week I worried that my training would hit a bit of a roadblock.  I caught a slight cold & have had some sinus congestion.  It’s pretty annoying running with the sniffles and congested sinuses but I took it easy, took extra rest days, and ran at a slower pace.

I try my best to keep my immune system strong and rarely get sick, but hey sometimes it happens (especially when people around you have been sick).  I’ve been focusing on taking care of my body to speed my recovery as much as possible.  I find that using holistic remedies helps me bounce back rather quickly and so are always my first line treatment, but there have been times where I need to get back to work asap, have an event to attend, or travel plans and over the counter (OTC) products are needed too.

Most people think they need antibiotics right away when they have a cold, but let’s clear that up right now.  A cold is a virus and has no cure— all you can do is treat the symptoms or prevent it altogether.  It passes easily from person to person through handshaking and droplets spread through air from sneezing or coughing.  This is why hand washing and covering your mouth when coughing/sneezing are critical healthy habits to adopt, friends. To keep your immune system strong, prevent illness, and fight colds faster I always try my very best to get enough rest, stay hydrated, and nourish my body with good nutrition.  These three things become ever more important when your body is fighting off a virus, so keep that in mind.  Here’s what I’ve been doing to fight this cold & sinus attack the last few days…

Morning “flu” shot |

I use a large shot glass, filled with half water and half apple cider vinegar (with the mother). I add a dash of cayenne pepper for extra sinus relief. 

Apple cider vinegar is known to have several antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal properties.  It’s useful for many things, but in this situation specifically, it is great for soothing a sore throat, mucus and sinus congestion.  

| “Feel Better Fast” tea |

Make a paste using organic, unfiltered honey + turmeric + ginger + cinnamon + cayenne + lemon juice = mix it all up

{ honey, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne }

{ honey, lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne }

Make your favorite hot tea ( I usually go for roasted dandelion or green tea), allow to cool, then add the honey mixture & enjoy. These ingredients combined are a cold fighting powerhouse & it tastes good too! 

| Go for Green Juice & smoothies |

Mean Green Juice

Be sure your juice has more vegetables than fruits in it)—> All vegetables ( especially green & cruciferous ones like broccoli and kale) contain protective micronutrients and phytochemicals that naturally strengthen the immune system. 

| Supplement with Vit C and Zinc |

You can easily consume vitamin C through eating dark leafy greens, broccoli, bell peppers, kiwis, citrus fruits, and berries. Stock up on foods like spinach, pumpkin seeds, nuts, beans, mushrooms,and cacao for extra zinc.


Using these remedies I’ve been able to continue my half marathon training even with this cold & sinus congestion.  I hope you enjoy these remedies as much as I do. This is prime cough and cold season so be sure to adopt healthy habits to keep your immune system strong.  If you have a go-to home remedy for a cold please share it in the comments. I love learning about what others are doing.  

Wishing you a healthy, happy week!  

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Plant-Based Eating: What, Why, & How

Title

People are often curious about my diet, wondering what I eat versus don’t eat and why.  Well here it is… I follow a “mostly” plant-based eating lifestyle. I say “mostly” because who doesn’t enjoy a treat here and there!  🙂

So what is a plant based diet?  I would sum up the description with the famous quote by food writer, Michael Pollan, as stated in his book In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto — “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” 1

Eat Food.

But if you want to get really specific, according to the folks over at forksoverknives.com, a whole foods, plant based diet incorporates a wealth of fruits and vegetables, beans/legumes, and grains. This way of eating focuses greatly on whole, unrefined, minimally processed plant foods. A plant based lifestyle aims to reduce (or eliminate) meat, dairy, eggs, refined foods (bleached flour, refined sugars, and oils)2. It may sound complicated but I promise it’s not.  Basically if it’s from a plant and has minimal processing and recognizable ingredients on the label, it’s plant-based diet approved.

Since I love reading to learn more about the things that interest me, I naturally gravitated toward books & research when I wanted to find a long-term solution to manage my weight and upgrade my health. {Read my story here}.   All of my readings led me to a plant-based eating approach.  Check out a few of my favorites and recommendations here.

{ Two guiding principles I have taken from everything I’ve read are: }

#1 Eat more vegetables &  #2 Eat less processed foods

 

Why should anyone eat this way?  Well because it can save your life that’s why. Do those two principles above really seem THAT hard to follow?  It may take some work on your part to be intentional and not fall back into old habits, but soon enough it becomes second nature. My body actually craves fruits and veggies!  But as with any major lifestyle change, you cannot stay motivated (or even get started) unless you have good reason for doing so.

Here are the top 3 reasons to follow a mostly plant based lifestyle:

  1. Good for animals 
  • By eating this way you are showing that you do not support animal cruelty.
    • Best practices tip: Even if you are not a vegan & enjoy animal products, try to buy products from animals that have been humanely raised.
  1. Great for the environment 
  • Large amounts of grain are grown just to feed animals, but we would save so much water and other energy resources if the grain produced was used to feed humans instead3.
  • Producing just 1 pound of beef requires 15 pounds of grain4.
  • Animal products are among the highest producers of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere5.
  1. Even better for YOU & your body
  • Helps prevent disease (& can in some cases reverse it)! Eating a plant based diet can help prevent and treat chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, lower blood pressure & cholesterol, help with weight loss, digestion, and inflammatory diseases6.
  • Improves your overall health & wellness by providing more antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and more fiber 7.

Good for animals

 

 

How do i actually incorporate this into my life?  Personally, I follow the “80/20 rule” by eating the whole foods, plant-based way 80% of the time and allowing for a few treats (fish, eggs, some dairy & even desserts) 20% of the time. I believe embracing a mostly plant-based eating approach is one of the best things you can do for your health and the environment but I also believe in balance. I know if I am too strict on myself I will not have a healthy relationship with food and be miserable. Listen to your body and adjust your dietary habits accordingly. Everyone is different. Find what works for you but always keeping in mind the two plant based principles.

{ A TOP TIP for anyone interested in taking the first step toward a plant-based approach }

Work toward adding 5 servings of fruits and vegetables into your day

(at least 3 servings should be veggies + 2 servings should be fruit)

 

Got it? Good. Now go try it out! Be sure to comment with your results and experiences.

 

P.S. —  I’m opening up 5 spots for lifetime membership into my Wellness Club & what better way to get started?! So if you are in need of some help kickstarting your journey to health and happiness contact me. I’d love to provide some guidance & support and plug you into a whole community of love & accountability <3

– x o x o –  

a little bit of


| References |

1 In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan http://www.amazon.com/In-Defense-Food-Eaters-Manifesto/dp/0143114964

2 http://www.forksoverknives.com

3 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carole-bartolotto/plant-based-diet_b_3807973.html

4 http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-greenhouse-hamburger/

5 http://report_ewg_meat_eaters_guide_to_health_and_climate_2011.pdf/

6 http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/slideshows/reasons-to-choose-a-plant-based-diet/1

7 http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/amazing-health-benefits-of-embracing-a-plant-based-diet/

 

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