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Posts Tagged ‘health food’

Well, not so much in that order. Since I bought Sarma’s Living Raw Food yesterday, it was burning a hole in my kitchen. It was getting late so I picked something easy to make, just to give it a try. Who knew you could make chocolate pudding with an avocado?! Well, OK maybe we all knew it was possible, but did you know it tastes GOOD? Better than good? Here, I’ll prove it… this is what happened to mine in about 10 seconds flat. (Which is just SLIGHTLY more than the amount of time it took to make this easy-as-pie creation.)

My question to you is… WHO needs BUTTER?! Don’t answer that. Let me live in my fantasy world.

This morning started E-A-R-L-Y. A friend of mine who is dead set on making workouts a regular, consistent habit asked me to join her at the gym. Now I am never one to turn down that offer! Turns out the only time she could fit it in to her day was 5:30 am. Lovely. And I live about a half hour away. What must be done must be done, right? Right. Being the motivation that gets someone to make a healthy choice is my game. That is what makes me warm and fuzzy inside. So I left in the darkness on my mission. I did not, however, have the wherewithall at that hour to take a photo of the gym to prove it. Upon leaving I had more brainpower:

See?? I went! (Can you hear the silent undertone: “So can you!”) What a gorgeous morning. As I headed to the subway they were starting to set up the most amazing farmer’s market in NYC that is the Union Square Farmer’s Market…

…in all its glory.

Now one more thing before I let you go. Of the many MANY benefits I got out of working out so incredibly early in the morning, one was quite unexpected. By the time we’d finished our workout and showered it was 7 or 7:30 am. It felt like I’d been up for ages already! It felt like lunchtime! So when we went to the juice bar to grab a little green juice (oh how I LOVE starting the day that way!!!) I couldn’t take my eyes off the salad bar. And thus was my breakfast. A giant mixture of greens and other assorted veggies and nuts. OK and a little feta. Long gone are the days of waking up and craving a starchy – sorry, the SAME starchy breakie every day.

Try it!

 

 

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Oh no you didn’t! Oooooohhh yes I DID! I bought it.

The ultimate raw vegan cookbook. I know, it’s one thing to eat the AMAZING “I can’t believe it’s not cooked and/or horrible for you” food at the restaurant Pure Food and Wine, and an ENTIRELY different thing altogether to try making it yourself. That’s why it’s a challenge! Who’s with me? How many raw vegan meals can you make a week?

I hope to be posting the results of my efforts as well as helpful information from the book and about the benefits of raw food in general. I’m not saying you need to eat all raw all vegan all the time, but adding it in to your diet is SO. GOOD. FOR. YOU.

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As someone with a whole lot of digestive trouble, it’s a good thing I went in to Nutrition. Who knows if I would ever have figured out (and solved) the issue! And thankfully this has come in handy with clients, as digestion seems to be a very popular enemy these days. Go figure, with all the crummy processed food out there. Not to mention the things sold as food that really, by my definition, don’t qualify! There are soooo many things that can cause an imbalance in your system and the cause is generally a puzzle. People are plagued with these problems for years or even decades because they can’t get to the source of them. (Come see me!)

In any case, one of the most interesting things I noticed with my own experience was not something I was expecting. I’ve tended to be a creature of habit – actually not really, but I definitely have been where food is concerned! I would go through phases where I would eat the SAME EXACT thing for breakfast. EVERY day. Sometimes I would even crave it again for dinner! This can be (though is certainly not always!) a sign of a food allergy. For one reason or another your body can become addicted to something and by the time you wake up in the morning, after hopefully several hours of sleep, you are practically suffering from withdrawals! I had a pancake phase, a toast with nut butter phase… there have been a few iterations. No matter how much I told myself the night before that some healthy kale would be a welcome change, I would wake up the next morning with no power over the usual starchy craving.

In the course of my return to health, one of the things I did was temporarily give up a lot of the foods that I craved and the foods I believed were causing me problems – wouldn’t you know there was a lot of overlap! It was tough at first, but it quickly got a lot easier. And by the time my gut started to heal and things began to work properly, I realized something. I craved variety for the first time I can remember. If I had something for breakfast one morning, I would not want it again for a few days. This forced me to come up with a variety of different things to eat which, of course, provides a variety of nutrients for a healthy body. One day it would be egg whites and veggies, another veggies and nuts with yogurt and another day oats with all sorts of fun stuff thrown in. And on and on.

To bring a long story to an overdue conclusion… this is the way it’s supposed to be! You need to eat a VARIETY of foods at every meal. Try not to eat the same thing twice within a 4-5 period. Whatever makes you include veggies, go for it, I am not going to complain – but if you can, try to eat different ones each day and throughout each day. And if you are craving the same thing day in and day out, well… you might want to think about why!

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A calorie is not a calorie is not a calorie. 50 calories of gummi bears is very different from 50 calories of vegetables, and I don’t just mean the way they taste. Are you someone who pays more attention to how many calories you are eating than where those calories are coming from? It’s OK if you count calories if that’s what you need to do to help you lose weight or maintain it, but there are a few other things that are crucial to consider.

You need to make sure you are eating a wide variety of foods, this is the only way you can hope to get all the nutrients your body needs. Your body needs vitamins and minerals, it needs fat, protein and carbohydrates, it even needs specific types of fat, protein and carbs. There is also the consideration of what happens to the calories you eat once they enter your system. This is why I urge you to eat REAL FOOD. Sure, there may be less calories in the fake version, but how much better off are you if you eat less calories and slow down your metabolism? Not much and maybe worse!

Cheaters never prosper, right? You can’t fake out your body by eating the diet version, it all evens out in the end. Just like if you cheat in a workout – who really loses when you aren’t getting in to the shape you want or don’t seem to be getting stronger? Well it works the same way with food. You can eat a nonfat version or you can go for real butter – one has less calories but it also slows your metabolism, not to mention a host of other issues it causes. That’s not going to help you lose weight and be healthy in the long run!

We are what we eat! Our brain is made of fat, as are our cells, proteins make up the enzymes we need to break down food and the neurotransmitters that serve as the communication system for our whole body, hormones are made from things such as protein and even cholesterol and so on. Do you want to have your body made up of fake ingredients like preservatives and additives and chemicals that don’t let your system function properly?

When you eat artificial sweeteners, they can’t communicate with your brain to let you know you’re full, they can’t balance out your level of insulin – basically they make you just want to eat more. The oils that get processed into margarine and similar “foods” just deplete vitamins and minerals you need from your body, create free radicals that give you even bigger problems, create a mess of your digestive system… nothing good, let’s put it that way!

In any case, you need fat for your body to work right. It’s good for you! As long as you are eating mostly good ones. I think we’ve all heard about the dreaded trans fats by now and there is no amount of those that is small enough to call healthy. Yet another benefit of REAL food – no labels to deceive you! (Trans fats can be included without mention on the label as long as they don’t exceed a certain amount. So guess what, the portion size just gets reduced so the trans fats don’t need to be mentioned!)

So, eat food! Real food!

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What is the single best thing you can do for your health? Hire a Health Coach, of course! Ha, gotcha. No really… it’s making sure your digestion is on track and working properly. Most of your immune system is located around your gut. How else would most of the things that make you sick get in, right? Through your mouth! You breathe, you eat, you drink… you get the picture.

Well, it’s surprising how many people suffer from poor digestion. It’s not always as hard to fix as you might think. And it is well worth the effort! The lining of you gut determines what gets absorbed into your body and what gets eliminated. Ideally, you want the vitamins, minerals, molecules of healthy fat, etc. to get in and the bad guys like toxins and bad bacteria to stay out. To make a long story relatively short and readable, you need a few basic things.

Well first of all, you need a strong supply of enzymes to break down foods so they can be absorbed properly. These come mostly from raw fruits and vegetables. Our diets tend to be full of things that wipe out enzymes, so you need to get enough to overcome this abuse. Digestive enzyme supplements can be easily bought to help you get on track (but you, of course, might want to do this with the help of a Health Coach).

You want to make sure you have a full supply of good bacteria. You get this from things like yogurt and fermented foods and if you need extra help you can take a probiotic supplement.

The best food on the planet and probably the one most lacking in our diets is the leafy green. Popeye knew what he was talking about. Spinach, kale, the whole lot of them. Get as many of these inside of you as possible. If you like them raw, even better! Green juice is a popular way to do this, but I think it’s best to make sure you also get them in their solid form because…

Fiber is crucial to proper digestion. Of course it is! Where do we get fiber? Well, leafy greens for one! All sorts of other fruits and vegetables in their non-juice form. Whole grains are a fantastic source as well but some or all of them tend to give some people problems, so pay attention to how they make you feel. Beans as well. One thing to note about beans and grains is that soaking them will make them a lot easier to digest. I never cook them without first soaking them for as long as possible. (It helps get rid of the phytic acid but that’s a conversation for another time.)

Thirsty? Water is probably the easiest AND mot important element to this whole digestion conundrum. I think you know where to get that.

Let’s not forget essential fats, otherwise known as Omega 3’s. They are, well, essential for healthy digestion. Everyone can benefit from a supplement. The best source is wild fish and lots of it. You can get it from nuts like walnuts, but it’s not as easy for our bodies to use. I take a fish oil supplement every day.

Of course this list is not exhaustive. There’s stress, eating too fast, a never-ending list. But we covered the basics The gut is a massive territory with a whole lot of room for complication. If you feel like you do everything right but you still have issues (you know that they are!) then you can take further action like an elimination diet or even get tests of your blood and stool samples. And yes… working with a professional is advised!

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