Its summertime and many are going on vacation, we know how to eat healthy at home, but we need help when it comes to transferring our knowledge into vacation mode. Eating healthy can be difficult to maneuver, but if you think about your “diet” as a lifestyle it makes eating out that much easier.
When I work with clients, I talk a lot about planning. Planning for the day or the week until it becomes a habit. This task is a lot easier if you are just going out to dinner because you are just planning for one meal, vacations take a little more work but can be done. My last vacation, I took the kids to Disney. While Disney is magical and a great experience for the kids, it is extremely hard to eat healthy, especially inside the parks.
I thought I would offer some tips to keep up the healthy eating even while dining out.
You know greens are good for you, but are you familiar with the many benefits? Leafy greens consist of kale, collards, swiss chard, spinach, dandelion greens, parsley, cilantro and so many more. They are usually included in the vegetable category, but really should have a category all by themselves because they far surpass any vegetable in nutrient content. Here are just a few beneficial nutrients: fiber, chlorophyll, Omega 3's, amino acids and over 22 vitamins and minerals.
Unfortunately, most people do not eat any greens. Many people weren't raised eating them, and don't like the bitter taste. But once they learn the health value they add them to their diet. You do get used to the taste! Let's talk about some of the nutrients:
A detox may be in order if these past few months were filled with parties, heavy food, alcohol and stress. Unfortunately, detoxification (or cleansing) has gotten a bad rap lately because it is misunderstood. Some critics point out that there is no reason to detox since our body has many ways to do it. It's true that our body has systems in place, but because our bodies are bombarded with toxins on a daily basis that gum up the detoxification process, we need to take matters into our own hands. Some examples of toxins are chemical compounds via our food and water, medications mercury fillings, abnormal gut flora, lead, pesticides and alcohol. It is a good idea to give your body a rest a few times a year and eat as cleanly as possible.
I know some people who are turned off by the word detox because they went to their local health food store and bought a detox supplement and did not have good results. But it is important to know, that there is so much more to detoxing than a supplement. These types of supplements can cause you to detox too fast and do not support your detox organs.
What is detoxification?
Detoxification is a process that is done automatically by your body; it involves eliminating the waste products of cellular metabolism through the eliminatory organs which are the skin, kidney, liver, colon, lungs, lymph and blood. The object of taking time to detox is to minimize the toxins and maximize the nutrients coming in so you can give your eliminatory organs a chance to catch up and optimize the eliminatory pathways. It is a process of cleaning, nourishing and resting the body from the inside out.
Here are some tips that you can add to your daily life that can help you to detox without actually doing one:
· Eat slowly and chew thoroughly to ease the strain on your digestive system
· Avoid using chemicals on your lawn, in your beauty products or cleaning supplies
· Use a water filter and drink plenty of water. It will help remove the metabolic waste
· Add more fruit and vegetables to your diet
· Decrease or eliminate processed foods
· Decrease or eliminate sugar
· Exercise daily (make sure to sweat)
· Decrease caffeine and alcohol (or eliminate them altogether)
As always, take one item at a time and work up to all of the tips. Once you have implemented the above, your body will start to detox naturally. Then, you can take 7-10 days and focus on the other aspects of detoxification. This will ensure that you don’t go through detox symptoms, but you will optimize your detox pathways.
The New Year brings with it resolutions. What is yours...to eat healthier or exercise more? Statistics show that within a couple of weeks we go back on our resolutions and back to life as usual. Don't let that happen to you this year, this year you will stick with your resolutions.
The difference this year will be in the way you look at your resolution and how you act on it. If your resolution is to exercise more, schedule the workout into your day. Start with two days a week and increase it once these days are part of your routine. If your plan is to eat healthier, choose one thing, for example water. Make the change, make it part of who you are then expand to something else. The object is to make it easy for you so that the healthy lifestyle becomes part of you.
Why should we choose water?
Water is one of the most important elements that our body needs. Without water nothing lives! But most people do not drink enough. We need at the minimum of 60 oz of water per day to replenish what was lost during normal metabolism, to clean out build up toxins while the body does it's house cleaning, to restore normal sleep rhythms, to reduce fatigue, and to reduce the effects of aging. If you drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol you need to add a few more cups of water to your routine because they are diuretics. Once you are drinking enough water, go onto something else like increasing your vegetables by drinking one green smoothie a day. This will also help to keep you hydrated.
Make your resolution a goal that is achievable. If you try to change everything at once, you will fail and this year failure is not an option!
Whatever diet you follow, the holidays can be tough to stick to it. When I say diet, I am talking about your normal every day eating plan. With the holidays comes a lot of parties and food. How do you navigate?
Below are a few tips to help you navigate the holidays so you don't need to "diet" after:
Use a smaller plate. This can help in every day life too. By using this technique, you are making it look like there is more on the plate. But, just because the plate is smaller doesn't mean you should pile on the food.
Don't forget to exercise. The holidays are busy, but don't let your exercise routine fall by the wayside.
As a vegan, these few tips have helped me survive many parties. Not just the holidays, but all year long. The good news is you don't have to be vegan to follow them!
It is the fall, so everywhere you look are signs to get the flu shot. A direction you may want to reconsider given the fact that our body is capable of fighting off these flu viruses as long as we nourish ourselves.
Why does the flu have a season?
Think about it. We have viruses (including the flue virus) around all year long. So what makes September through March flu season? Well, there's a few theories:
What can we do?
We can support our immune system. After all, the immune system was designed to be our defender. You do this by cleaning up your diet and eating more fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens and limiting sugar as much as possible. Did you know that for two hours after a sweet treat, your immune system is sluggish?
One more thing you can do is educate yourself so you can make an informed decision whether or not you want to receive the vaccine. The Center for Disease control (CDC) reports that the flu vaccine is only 60% effective. Possibly because it is almost impossible to figure out which strain is going to be most active since there are over 200 strains of flu-like viruses. There are also questionable ingredients in the vaccine that actually tax our immune system, not making it stronger.
Give your immune system the support it needs. Follow these tips this flu season and give your body the extra support it needs.
If so, he has probably been put on a medication because it is perceived that this eases school disturbances and makes them more manageable. But, should they be on medication? Hyperactivity and behavior issues are not diseases and some of the medications come with serious side effects. What if changing your child’s diet helped?
ADD is diagnosed by a specialist who compares the behavior of your child with the criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association. The diagnosis of children with ADD/ADHD is rising. Characteristics include: excessive fidgeting, trouble paying attention, easily distracted, restlessness, irritability, excessive crying, temper tantrums, excessive talking, poor sleep with night awakenings, inability to perform simple tasks that are developmentally appropriate, inattention when attention is needed, out of control impulsivity. There is no known cause as to why children exhibit these behaviors but there are very strong links to underlying nutrition deficiencies/excesses, heavy metal toxicity, food allergies, reactions/toxification of vaccines, food allergies etc.
By using nutrition intervention many children can experience improvement in behavior. The following are some suggestions of what you might want to eliminate:
For the above whole foods I would recommend an elimination/provocation diet to see if these foods affect your child. When doing the elimination/provocation diet make sure to eliminate all supplements because some vitamins in the supplements may increase the behavior problems.
What to include:
It's October, so you know what that means? It's breast cancer awareness month and everything is pink to bring awareness to breast cancer. Did you ever wonder how October became breast cancer awareness month?
It all started in 1984 by Zeneca Pharmaceuticals when they came up with the idea to focus on breast cancer. Sounds like a good thing right? But it was really self serving on their part by creating breast cancer awareness month, they were able to influence everything you see regarding breast cancer. This same company sells Tomoxifen, the worlds leading anti-cancer/breast cancer "prevention" drug and they are the people educating you on breast cancer. Maybe this is why we don't really see any information on how to actually prevent cancer...just screen for it and take their pharmaceuticals once we get it is found.
I do think we should have awareness, but the way that it is being done is creating too much fear. If we take the fear out of the picture we might be able to have the clarity to make an informed decision.
It has been said by many gurus in the field of cancer, that "no one has ever died of cancer...they die from the direct effects of the cancer treatment".
Maybe what we need is a change in perspective? Instead of looking at cancer as something you have no control over, take back control. Maybe look at it as a lifesaving effort on the part of your body. Your body is designed to thrive and it will give us many warning signs that something is not in balance. It may start out as a pain and increase until your body is basically yelling at you....listen to me, I need help!
So how do we take the fear out of cancer? Education.
So let's talk about what cancer is. According to conventional medicine, it's a tumor. The measures taken to get rid of this tumor is surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. If you are able to choose surgery. if the tumor is removed successfully, you are considered cancer free. But, if they can't surgically remove the tumor, they radiate you, or give you chemotherapy. But this doesn't get to the real reason why you got that tumor...the underlying cause.
This tumor is full of rogue mutant cells, these cells have escaped the immune systems surveillance and rapidly multiply. These rogue cells don't communicate with other cells, they resist dying and even create their own blood supply so they can take up all the nutrients ingested. And cancer cells thrive on sugar. The tumor itself is not the problem...it's a symptom. It's a wake up call to listen to your body. Your body is now yelling at you that it needs help! Please listen to your body.
There are many reasons why a tumor may form, poor nutrition, poor absorption, toxicity, lack of iodine, lack of vitamin D, hormonal imbalances, mercury poisoning etc. This is where the focus should be placed, not on cutting out the cells and declaring a war.
We live in a toxic world so we need to focus our energy on clean living and nutrient dense foods as a way to survive in it. A lot of the food that we consider food, is NOT food and can pave the way for these rogue cells. Cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment, so food should be your first line of defense.
I don't want people to think I am against conventional medicine. I'm not, they have their place and I think the doctors are truly caring people and trying to save lives, but have somehow forgotten that the body is a whole, complex organism that needs to be dealt with as one.
This is a question I get asked all the time. There are a few things that you can do to ensure your child eats healthy.
Start early. After 12 months of age, your child can eat pretty much anything you do. Introduce leafy greens and the more bitter greens so they acquire a taste for them. It's ok if they don't like them right away.
Keep healthy fruits and vegetables in the house. If they are not there, they cannot be eaten.
Eat fruits and vegetables yourself. Your children will mimic what you do, if you are giving them vegetables, but eating chips. Your children will want the chips.
Don't give up! It takes at least thirteen times of an introduction to a new food for them to decide if they like it.
Offer the healthy foods often, it should be their main source and try your best to stay away from concentrated sweets. If you do offer your little one a sweet treat, make sure it is AFTER they have had their healthy meal.
When your child is old enough, encourage them to help you cook.. I had my children at the counter helping (or watching) as soon as they were old enough to stand. Another approach is to ask your child to pick out one new vegetable at the supermarket and find a new recipe to make for that vegetable.
Let your child explore the new foods and have fun! This is one of the best ways to encourage healthy eating. As long as you are giving your child all healthy foods, they can eat as much of it as they like.
Grow a garden! This is so much fun to do with little ones. They are more inclined to eat vegetables after taking car of them and watching them grow. I started planting a garden because I wanted my little ones to see where their food came from. We still have one!
Don't let the dinner tabel become a battle ground! Keep the atmosphere light and playful with your child.
If your child decides to test you, and they will, have a plan and stick to it. For example: I have a rule, that I am only making one meal. If my children do not like this meal, they don't have to eat it, but they are not getting anything else. I have never had to follow through. They may refuse the meal, take the meal that you have made and put it in the refrigerator for the next time your little one is hungry. This is their meal until it is eaten. I promise they won't starve; they will get the point that their meals are important.
By keeping healthy foods in the house for your child (and yourself) to choose, you will have less of a battle at the dinner table because the child only knows what you supply.
It seems most of us only become aware of the fact that we should protect our bones as we age. The reality is, we should be thinking of building healthy bones for our children while they are still inside the womb. It is more important to protect and build bones when we are young, than to worry about it later in life. Here’s why: we have until the later teen years to build bone density. Bone density is built by consuming nutrient dense foods (leafy green vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts/seeds, sea vegetables and grains). If our children do not reach an optimal peak bone mass, they may wind up with Osteoporosis later in life. Bone loss is a natural part of aging so starting out high is a good thing.
We build bones early in life, and after our mid-thirties bone loss starts. In our fifties bone loss becomes more rapid, and settles down by our sixties. There is good news! Bone loss can be minimized by eating plant foods.
Our bones are meant to last a lifetime and beyond, but today children are breaking bones all the time. Why? Because they are filling up with junk! Many people today have somehow lost the ability to tell food from non-food and wind up eating lifeless food from packages. We need to get back to nature and eat the foods that nature provides us.
But, it’s not just food. Our lifestyle plays an important role. Do you get enough sleep and exercise or drink too much caffeine? Are you under a lot of stress? Are your hormones in balance? Are you digesting your food properly? These are all factors of building bone or breaking them down.
I’m sure you have heard that calcium is good for building bone, but it’s not the only nutrient. There are 21 nutrients including calcium that work synergistically to build bone. Vitamin D and K2 are just as important as calcium because without these two, calcium can’t get into our bones. We have an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency, could this be why so many children are breaking their bones today? Vitamin D is the only vitamin that we can’t get much from food, we need to get it from the sun or take a supplement.
There are many factors to look at when building our bones. I have only touched the surface, but by feeding our children fresh, whole foods we are taking a great first step to building healthy bones that will last them a lifetime!