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Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Raw Honey for Allergies, Recovery, Weight Loss, & More!

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

The cute little honey bear at your local grocery store? Chances are it’s fake. Fake as in a mix of corn syrup and other unsavory things. At the very least, it has been so overly processed, heated and filtered that it’s lost what makes it such a nutritional powerhouse. Worse yet, if it’s from China it has likely been contaminated with everything from chemicals to antibiotics to low cost syrups and sugars. An astounding 76% of “honey” products from grocery stores contained no trace of bee pollen whatsoever.

Raw honey is the way to go: pure, unfiltered, unpasteurized, made by bees, a gift from mother nature herself.

Raw honey has been shown to help with sleep problems, seasonal allergies (best to go with a local source), low energy, and recovery from intense exercise. Other benefits of locally sourced raw honey include:

  • 60% improvement of symptoms of hay fever, allergies, and asthma
  • Promotes healthy weight management when used to replace sugar
  • A high quality source of vitamins, minerals, pollen, and even protein
  • Restores glycogen stores – making it the perfect pre- and post-exercise energy booster
  • Contains antioxidants that help boost the immune system and have even been found to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other diseases
  • 22 amino acids
  • 27 minerals including iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium, selenium, potassium, and phosphorus
  • 5,000 enzymes
  • Source of B-Vitamins
  • Low glycemic index, i.e. it doesn’t cause the sugar spike/elevated insulin levels like white sugar

Replacing sugar or high fructose corn syrup with raw honey has been found to help with weight loss efforts. Studies have found that consuming raw honey can actually activate hormones that suppress appetite.

Need another reason to stock your pantry with this superfood? It. Tastes. Delicious!!

 

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Gut Health, Part II: Probiotic-Rich Foods & Repairing Your Gut

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Traditionally fermented, unpasteurized foods are key to optimizing gut health, as is limiting processed, refined, and pesticide/chemical-ridden food. Eating fermented foods like saukerkraut, raw kefir, grass-fed yogurt, and fermented vegetables are a great way to rebalance your gut bacteria and improve your overall health.

Destroys gut flora, avoid:

  • Antibiotics – avoid them unless absolutely necessary. Follow-up your treatment course with a hefty dose of fermented foods and/or high quality probiotic supplements.
  • Chlorinated Water
  • Fluoridated Water
  • Antibacterial Soup
  • Pesticides & Agricultural Chemicals
  • Processed Foods
  • Sugar
  • Factory-farmed, i.e. conventionally raised, meats, eggs, and other animal products – they are fed low-dose antibiotics and fed genetically modified grains.

Improves gut health, consume more:

Kefir is one of the most gut-friendly foods, with balancing and restorative properties. Kefir is a rich source of probiotics, enzymes, macro and micronutrients, and countless vitamins and minerals including vitamins B and K, folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and proteins, including tryptophan, an essential amino acid known for its calming and relaxing effects. Kefir has been used to treat allergies, intestinal disorders, respiratory diseases, anemia, mood disorders, ulcers, reflux, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, colitis, leaky gut syndrome, UTIs, some cancers, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, Autism, depression, migraines, acne, eczema, psoriasis, candida overgrowth, osteoporosis, rheumatism, and more.

Kombucha tea is an adaptogen and supports healthy digestion, which in turn supports healthy brain functioning, mood, and cognition. Kombucha tea is a rich source of B vitamins and Vitamin C. B vitamins have been found to help stabilize mood, regulate anxiety, improve concentration, and even help fight depression. Vitamin C boosts immunity and suppresses the release of cortisol, i.e. stress-hormone that has been linked to stubborn belly fat, impaired mental clarity and functioning, depressed mood, and hypertension.

Grass-fed bone broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, amino acids, hyaluronic acid, gelatin and chondroitin sulfate. Besides boosting gut health and repairing digestive lining, bone broth boasts a range of other health benefits as well, including fighting inflammation, reducing joint pain, inhibiting infection, and promoting healthy bones, teeth, hair, and nails.

As always, support your local farmer and opt for grass-fed, organic sources. Besides being higher in nutrients overall, they aren’t broken down by over-processing, chemicals, pesticides, etc.

Gut Health, Part I: Benefits & Health Implications

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Research has finally begun to recognize the vital importance of a healthy gut. Imbalances in gut flora have been scientifically linked to a range of health issues, impacting everything from mood and inflammation to pain and weight gain. In particular, correlations have been found between gut health and the following:

Eating Disorders – Research has uncovered a very strong link between disordered eating behaviors and gut health, specifically the presence of a certain protein made by intestinal bacteria. The presence of this protein leads to an unfavorable reaction between antibodies and satiety hormones, impacting the regulation of “feeding, energy regulation and anxiety.” Yet another reason why a healthy microbiome, i.e. balanced gut health, is vital to your health and wellness, both physically and mentally. One major way to promote and improve gut health is by consuming more probiotic and prebiotic-rich foods to feed the good gut bacteria.

Mood & Cognition – Gut health has been linked with everything from Autism and ADD/ADHD to symptoms of depression, anxiety, brain fog, even memory issues. A healthy gut is necessary for your body to properly digest and process nutrients, including playing a major role in the processing and functioning of neurotransmitter activity, including serotonin levels which are responsible for mood.

Willpower & Cravings – Do you ever feel like sometime you have excellent “willpower” to abstain from eating unhealthy foods, whereas other times you feel out of control with cravings? Your gut health plays a vital role in this.

Immune System Functioning – Over 75% of your immune system is housed within your digestive system. When you take antibiotics or use antibacterial products you are killing the good bacteria, creating a breeding ground for the bad bacteria to take over. When properly balanced, there are trillions and trillions of good bacteria keeping you healthy. When you disturb this balance, you put yourself at risk for digestive problems, poor immune system functioning, and a range of other issues.

If you are having health issues, consider the state of your gut flora. Stay tuned for our next blog article which will outline ways that you can promote gut health and improve functioning.

Holiday Eating: Tips to Beat the Post-Holiday Blues & Weight Gain

Monday, September 19th, 2016

As summer gives way to fall, the holiday season begins gleaming from just around the corner. Shelves are filled with holiday lights and trees, gifts and goodies. The holidays mean so much in so many different ways, family, togetherness, tradition, gratitude and giving – and let’s be honest – over-indulgence. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, days are filled with holiday gift baskets and gift exchanges while nights ring with the toasting of cheers, coupled with decadent holiday treats.

Many people find that they end up suffering from post-holiday blues (and weight gain!), a sort of emotional drop after the celebratory craze of Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas, and the like. What most people don’t consider is why they end up feeling this way. In fact, the post-holiday letdown seems to be offhandedly attributed to perceived social or cultural elements. What most fail to consider is that it is in fact the huge spike in indulgent eating and drinking from the end of November to the beginning of January.

High sugar, wheat, and alcohol, food coloring from red and green everything, and even more sugar – this is the true culprit for the post-holiday blues – and of course, weight gain.

Here are some tips to help you avoid, minimize, or at least bounce back from the holidays:

  • DO make moderation your friend. DON’T make November to January a free for all.
  • DO choose a few key days or events to allow yourself to indulge, i.e. actual holidays and holiday parties. Keep your in between eating extra healthy and SATIATING with grass-fed butter, meats, and eggs, organic greens, and fermented foods.
  • DO keep your gut health in check. Sugar, wheat, alcohol and processed foods wreak havoc on the gut, which in turn wreaks havoc on neurotransmitter functioning, which leads to cravings, brain fog, moodiness, irritability, and digestive complaints. Increase your intake of probiotic-rich foods like kombucha tea, grass-fed kefir, fermented sauerkraut and kimchi. Grass-fed bone broth is also highly beneficial to gut health and the digestive tract.
  • DO skip low-fat, high sugar, processed foods as much as possible – and opt for high quality fats such as grass-fed butter, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats and coconut oil. Not only will they keep you satiated but they will help manage potential blood sugar spikes from all the sugar and alcohol. Enjoy a bullet coffee or some grass-fed butter on butternut squash before heading out to your next holiday event. By going in with a high quality fat in your stomach you won’t be as tempted to high tail it to the dessert table – especially if your gut health is in check.
  • DO consume extra probiotics and omega 3 fatty acids after indulging. They will help repair some of the damage done and can help get you back on track so that one bad meal doesn’t turn into weeks of over-indulgence.
  • DO ask people to bring non-dessert items and/or non-traditional foods to holiday gatherings. Pinterest has so many cute, festive ideas using healthy foods. Enjoy a nice warm seasonal butternut squash soup or sweet potatoes with grass-fed butter. Make a holiday scene out of organic fruits and vegetables. Make a pumpkin yogurt dip using raw honey and grass-fed yogurt.

What tips or tricks do you use to get through the holidays without excess weight gain or post-holiday blues? Send us your suggestions!

Grass-fed Meat, Eggs, Dairy: An Abundant Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

We’ve come to associate omega-3 fatty acids with seafood, flaxseeds, and supplements, but back in the day they were also found in our meat, eggs, and dairy. Unfortunately, as animals have been taken off of the omega-3 rich grass, instead jammed into feedlots and fed a diet of grains and other nutritionally-lacking fillers, their supply of omega-3 fatty acids has diminished. This includes not only meat but eggs and dairy products as well.

Grass-fed meat, dairy and eggs remain a rich source of the highly beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, while also being highly nutritionally abundant all around. Besides increased omega-3s – as much as 10 times  more than factory/feedlot ainimals – grass-fed food is lower in fat and calories than grain-fed, and richer in vitamins and nutrients including:

  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
  • Vitamins A, D, E and K
  • B-Vitamins Thiamin and Riboflavin
  • Antioxidants
  • Minerals Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium
  • Beta-Carotene

Furthermore, research shows that lean grass-fed beef actually lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol levels

Other benefits of consuming omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in grass-fed foods are that they may reduce the risk of cancer, even slowing the growth of many types of cancers. Diets rich in omega-3s have also been linked with decreased incidence of depression, Alzheimer’s, ADD/ADHD, schizophrenia, high blood pressure, cancer, irregular heartbeat and more.