As more and more of us shop at Whole Food Markets and have become aware of the importance of eating clean and organic foods we are naturally moving toward foods that have the potential to make us incredibly healthy! Super foods are not new, as a matter of fact; they all go back to ancient times. We are just rediscovering what our ancestors knew instinctively.
Super foods are natural food sources with highly concentrated, complex supply of high quality nutrients with the least negative properties. The magazines are pushing them as diet aids, the truth is they are not always low in calories, but, for the number of calories present, they are always high in nutrients. They are an excellent addition to any healthy diet
Super foods should not be the only part of your diet. A really healthy diet would include a combination of live, raw plant foods, super herbs and super foods. Super foods can help nourish the brain, muscles, bones, organs, immune system and hair, skin and nails. They also correct imbalance in the diet. The ultimate goal would be to be able to quit taking vitamin and mineral supplements and actually get these nutrients from your foods.
Super foods include:
Camu Camu Berry
Adaptogen: A plant based substance with combined therapeutic actions in the human body. An adaptogen strengthens and invigorates the system while helping the body to deal more easily with stress of differing origin by supporting the adrenal glands. Adaptogens are believed to reinforce the non-specific power of resistance of the body against physical, chemical or biological noxious agents. They must also have a normalizing influence and may not be harmful or alter the bodies’ normal functions.
Antioxidants: A substance that reduces damage due to oxygen. Think rust or an apple turning brown.
HGH: Human Growth Hormone, Growth hormone is produced by the pituitary gland to fuel childhood growth and help maintain tissues and organs throughout life. Our growth hormone slows as we age.
Polysaccharides: A carbohydrate whose molecules consist of a number of sugar molecules bonded together that fortify the immune system.
Sesquiterpenoids: A class of Terpenes that have anti-inflammatory properties. They increase production of HGH by stimulating the pituitary and penal glands.
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Karen Davis is a health coach, life coach, Reiki II practitioner, a Hormone Cure coach, aromatherapist, and a detox & longevity specialist. Karen graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, The Life Coach Institute, and the Aromahead Institute. She is also certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and has studied the Hormone Cure with Dr. Sara Gottfried. Her approach to health focuses not only on the foods you put into your mouth but also incorporates the elements of body, mind and spirit. She has a thriving health & life coaching practice.
To find out more about her programs visit http://www.HolisticWellnessForWomen.com
Well, I am sure at one time or another we have all found ourselves on the drive thru line, starving, and craving some food that will provide a solution to that crazy grumbling sound in our bellies. So, we go for something quick and fast. It also doesn’t help that each town has at least one to two, or even more fast food joints to offer some quick, yet unhealthy, options for us. How do we avoid this? How can we avoid being that hungry, craving, cranky, and in a need of a fast fix person who has lost all control for healthy determination? Well, it is much simpler than you’d think.
The real fast food, before corporations built these multi-million dollar unhealthy options for us, was good old-fashioned fruits and veggies. Imagine that! Fruits and veggies should always be the number one option, and they are sold everywhere we turn as well, although they don’t usually have a drive thru. So, if it is about convenience then we need to prepare ahead of time. If we pack snacks and quick foods to go in our purse or brief case then we will always have a fast food option that aligns with having a healthy determination.
I suggest packing apples, bananas, oranges, and even some healthy homemade trail mix! Trail mix is my favorite go to snack when I’m on the go. I put some nuts, raisins, and dried fruit like cranberries in a little Ziploc back or plastic Tupperware container. It is always there and it doesn’t fail me. It also quick to prepare and if I make a bunch of it I can take little servings for a couple days so it lasts.
The best way to avoid fast food joints while on the go is to always make sure you have a fast food option in your purse.
Be Well & Inspired,
Karen ~ Your Wellness Warrior ❤
We live in a funny society. We treasure slim, thin, skinny and we dole out mountains of processed snack, junk and fast foods. We sit around and watch television instead of getting up and walking to the park or grocery store.
In our society, it seems like it is a constant obsession to try to get fit yet all the time reverting back to the food and entertainment forms that are so prevalent. Every single family get together, every holiday, every celebration is centered on food and drink. Most of the time gluttonous food and drink!
So, when we start to become unhappy with the way we look (no one associates their illness or sluggishness with food) we start cutting calories. Every New Year the diet industry pulls out all the advertising plugs, because every New Year we resolve to lose all the weight we put on the years before. Diet pills, replacement shakes, artificial sweeteners, surgeries, magazines and fad diets. The problem is, these things all make our problem worse. We may lose weight quickly at first but we lose muscle at the same time and then gain back all fat, which is not so good.
Then we are minus the muscle and plus more fat.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, look to people who have successfully done it. You will notice that they did not use diet pills, meal replacement shakes or fad diets.
14 Proven ways to lose weight for good:
- Eat breakfast
- Eat all day long
- Drink more water
- Eat at home
- Eat whole foods
- Reduce stress
- Get a good night’s sleep
- Get moving
- Keep a journal
- Eat some good, high quality protein
- Take a vitamin supplement
- Eat more vegetables
- Give up the “c”‘s – cakes, cookies, candy & chips
- Do a kitchen makeover and get the unhealthy foods that tempt you out of your house.
What do you think of skipping the fad diets?
Throw away the diet pills! (You can throw away your sleeping pills at the same time! 2 for 1!) Start eating healthy!
If you want to lose weight, eat more green vegetables and less simple carbohydrates. Give up the “C”‘s – cakes, cookies, candy and chips! Once those are out of your house and your life you WILL lose weight.
This is what you get to eat:
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- High quality protein
- Small amounts of healthy fat (coconut oil, avocado)
Quit going to McDonalds and Burger King .
Try these great tips, then come back and leave a comment (will probably take 24 hours) about how good you feel!
Be Well & Inspired!
Do you feel like your food is just sitting in your stomach for hours after you eat? Or is the opposite happening, and you are running to the bathroom before you have even finished your meal? You are not alone, and there are things you can do improve the situation. Here are ten steps to take now to get things moving properly through your gut:
- Food Combining – When foods are combined properly, they do not sit in your stomach and rot. That rotting food feeds the bad bacteria and yeast that everyone has residing in their digestive tract. To combine food, you eat protein with vegetables or grains with vegetables, never proteins & grains together. Also, fruits should be eaten alone on an empty stomach.
- Fermented Foods – These are naturally fermented foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, etc., that, when eaten, will feed the good bacteria in your gut and balance your inner ecology.
- Enzymes and Probiotics – I suggest that everyone take digestive enzymes and probiotics to help with the digestion of their food and build up their immunity.
- Water – We all know we need to drink plenty of water. A little known Ayurvedic trick is to drink a glass of water 15 minutes before your meal. This will get your digestive juices flowing and your food will get digested better.
- 80/20 Rule – This rule is to eat until you are 80% full. That leaves 20% of the room left in your stomach for your digestion to work. No one likes that uncomfortable full feeling and your tummy will thank you if you stop just before you are full.
- Eat Loads of Fiber – Your body needs fiber to carry out toxins, excess hormones, and junk. Eating lots of water-soluble fiber, found in veggies, will ensure that you get plenty of fiber. Just don’t forget step #4! Drink lots of water, too, so that you don’t end up with bulky stool.
- Short Fasting Period – Don’t worry, I am not suggesting that you don’t eat for a day. What I am suggesting is that you take some time between meals. Give your system about 3 or 4 hours to let the food get assimilated. When your gut is constantly bombarded by food all day long, it gets confused and doesn’t work properly. Give it some time to work on that last meal before you head to the kitchen for a snack.
- Cut Sugar and White Carbohydrates – These foods will feed the bad guys in your gut. Avoid them for less gas and bloating – and you don’t want the insulin spike that comes with them either.
- Gluten – A large percentage of Americans are gluten intolerant and do not know it. Try going without and see if your digestion works any better.
- Bone Broth – The #1 most soothing and healing drink that you could ever ingest. Homemade bone broth contains all of the nutrients you need to heal your gut if it is leaky and also provides the minerals you need for strong bones. It’s a win-win, must-consume food!
If you incorporate some or all of the tips, you will ease in to better digestion and the tummy troubles will disappear. 🙂
Be well & Inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior
When you realize that your digestion is much less than optimal and you feel terrible, it is time to do something about it. I got to that point and started noticing that I had symptoms like gassiness, bloating, constipation, and sharp cramp-like pains that started happening a lot. I knew I needed a reliable way to find out WHY this was happening and, more importantly, WHAT was causing my discomfort. That’s when I found out about the Elimination Diet.
The Elimination Diet is an approach to figuring out which foods you are sensitive to so that you can eat mindfully and keep your digestive symptoms at bay. The gut is where the majority of your immune system is and is considered the “second brain” in your body, so it is important to keep it healthy and keep things running smoothly. In the elimination diet, you start by eliminating common culprits of digestive upset and common food allergens. You dial down your daily meals and snacks so that you are only eating real, nourishing foods that will not hurt your gut. In fact, you can begin to heal your gut with a proper elimination diet. The categories of food to eliminate are:
- Grains – The foundation of the Food Pyramid for decades, it has now been discovered that many people have a hard time digesting grains, including corn.
- Processed Foods – There are many toxic chemicals (like MSG, artificial colors, and flavorings) and other undesirable ingredients (like GMOs, trans fats, and HFCS) in processed food that can impede digestion and even cause disease.
- High Glycemic Foods – Large amounts of starches and added sugars can feed a bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and other gut dysbiosis problems.
- Gluten and Fructans – Found in many grains, gluten has been found to be one of the causes of leaky gut syndrome and autoimmune diseases. Fructans are found in FODMAPS (short-chain carbohydrates) and can also feed those bad bugs in your gut.
- Unrefined Oils – These can cause inflammation throughout your body.
- Feedlot Meats and Dairy – Meats and dairy from the conventional food system are full of hormones, antibiotics, and even poisons such as arsenic.
- Eggs, Peanuts, and Shellfish – All are common food allergens.
- Gut Irritants – Caffeine and alcohol can wreak havoc on your gut. Avoid these while you are healing.
There is a 3/3 guideline for adding foods back into your diet:
“Do not conclude a food causes symptoms, unless symptoms occur within 3 days of eating the food and occur consistently on 3 separate occasions after eating it.”*
You will know, as you begin to add foods back in, what works and what doesn’t. I suggest starting slow; give the diet a few weeks to work, and start adding foods back in one at a time. If a food causes symptoms on 3 different occasions, you will know that you are sensitive to that food and to avoid it for a while and try again later. Eventually you will come up with a plan that your body will love. Everyone is different and finding your own unique way of eating to feel good will change your life.
*Heizer, W D., Southern, S, McGovern, S. The Role of Diet in Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Adults: A Narrative Review. JADA 2009; 109: 1204-1214
Not quite feeling confident enough to go it alone? Join us as we do an elimination diet together! Click here to find out more http://www.lifeoficoaching.com/11-day-detoxcleanse.html
Be well & Inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior
Yes, you probably want to start singing the jingle from the commercial: Ch-ch-ch-chia (pet). And yes, you can eat this seed! Who would have thought it was so healthy back in the day? This recipe is so easy to make it’s almost too good to be true.
Scrumptious Chia Pudding
- 1 cup coconut, almond, or hemp milk
- 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 banana
- ½ cup blueberries (frozen are OK)
- Handful of almonds or walnuts, if desired
- Cinnamon, to taste
Mix all the ingredients together and let them sit in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Stir after a few minutes, as the chia is “gelling” into a pudding-like consistency. Let it sit in the refrigerator about 20 minutes or until ready to eat.
Makes 1-2 servings
If you find the pudding too thick, you can add more milk or a little water. If you find the pudding too thin, add more chia or any of the other ingredients to make it thicker. You really can’t go wrong with chia pudding, which is why I love making it so much!
Now, let’s talk about the health benefits of chia.
It is a superfood, for sure! According to Dr. Andrew Weil, chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids and provides fiber as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
Another great benefit of chia seeds is that they are good for travel. Pack them in your suitcase and have them readily available to make chia pudding for breakfast or a snack in your hotel room. You can also pack travel size containers of almond milk (if checking luggage), as well as nuts and just pick up fresh fruit in your destination city.
Soon you will be singing ch-ch-ch-chia right along with me! Enjoy!
Be well & Inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior
Did you know that food has vibrations that allow it to create change in our bodies on a cellular level? Food that is alive and from the earth will energize and invigorate you, while processed, pre-packaged, dead food will leave you feeling lethargic and uninspired, like a light that has fizzled out. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Dark green leafy vegetables are full of chlorophyll, which is basically liquid sunshine. It is the substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert it into usable energy. When we consume raw dark green vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and Swiss chard, we fill our body with the equivalent of the plant’s life blood – the very thing that allows a seed to flourish and take form.
Chemically, the blood of the plant, chlorophyll, is very similar to our blood and, when consumed, it helps us to oxygenate and breathe life into every cell. Pretty cool, huh? Chlorophyll is also extremely cleansing and detoxifying.
Here are some other high vibrational foods for you to try:
- Tree Fruits – try apples, pears, bananas, coconuts, avocados, nectarines, peaches, plums, apricots, oranges, lemons, limes, mangos, pomegranates, blueberries, cherries, and olives.
- Non-green veggies
- Raw Cacao – chocolate in its pure form has over 1,200 phytonutrients. It contains nutrients like magnesium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and manganese. It also contains phenylethylamine, which are the feel good characteristics, and theobromine which dilates the cardiovascular system to allow all the benefits to come in.
- Goji Berries – packed with antioxidants, which can help minimize free radical damage to our cells.
- Cultured and Fermented Foods –a great source of probiotics, which will help your digestion stay on track.
I firmly believe in the old saying, “You are what you eat.” Junk in = feeling like junk, and rich, living, nutrient-dense food = much happier body and mind. Don’t just take my word for it. We’ve all tried the junk in, junk out experiment, so don’t you think it’s time to rock your body and mind with some fresh and fabulous food? By eating food that vibrates at a higher frequency, we increase our life-force energy and feel more radiant inside and out.
Be well & Inspired,
Did you know that when you make juice from raw vegetables, your body absorbs the nutrients within 15 seconds? Talk about an energy shot! No need to buy those sugary and chemical-ish concoctions from your local drug-store or mini mart. Juicing is an all-natural way to boost your energy and feel amazing. When you juice your fruits and veggies, you end up extracting all the water and nutrients from them and leave behind only the plant fibers. By separating the fruit or vegetable from its fiber, we gain access to all of the amazing vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and phytonutrients which are much more easily assimilated by our body than if we were to eat them.
This allows your body to absorb the nutrients more quickly, without having to digest the dense bulk of the plant. You can also fit an amazing amount of veggies into a single glass of juice, making it a great way to use up those extra veggies from your garden or CSA share. PLUS, you will end up with a glass of deliciousness that packs a powerful nutritional punch. Although some would also say that the cost of stocking enough fresh organic vegetables to make daily juices can be somewhat expensive, my feeling is that if you stop buying all of the pre-packaged foods/snacks you were buying, you will end up saving money in the long run on your food AND your doctor bills.
One more thing before I go: while you can control the quality of ingredients when you are making fresh juice at home, always read your labels when it comes to buying store-bought juice. These juices can be high in sugar and have a high glycemic load, which may cause blood sugar imbalances.
Be well & inspired!
Your Wellness Warrior