Blog, Health & Wellness, Women's Hormonal Health, Women's Hormonal Health

9 Reasons to Avoid Using the Birth Control Pill

thepill

Have you ever visited your gynecologist with complaints such as ovarian cysts, painful periods, or PMS? And did he or she tell you to “start taking the birth control pill?”.

I bet they did.

Now raise your hand if you did just that, and perhaps, yes, some of the symptoms went away, only to result in losing your libido, getting depression, experiencing digestion problems, weight gain, or perhaps just an overall vibe of not feeling like yourself?

Well, you’re not alone.

“Just take the birth control pill.” It’s the easy solution and it’s just plain lazy.

What these doctors don’t want to acknowledge is the root of your problem stems from an imbalance of your hormones in the first place. But they’d rather just tell you to take the pill because:

A) Investigating your imbalance requires much more work for the doctor and you (well in the long run it’s less work for you to get to the root of the problem, as we’ll learn later the pill comes with a host of problems).

B) The doctor knows that to get to the filling of this peanut butter cup mystery requires the patient make a diet and lifestyle change, which I get it, is hard in most cases. Especially in today’s world of the “just give me a pill that cures everything” mentality. So they just opt to write a prescription.

C) Perhaps they genuinely don’t know better and believe it is the best option for you (you’ll frequently find this with older generation doctors).

So why would they give it to me if it doesn’t work?

I’m not saying the pill doesn’t work to prevent against pregnancy. It has a 99.9% effective rate. So there is that.

But what about all the other hormonal problems that seem to be cured by taking the birth control, like PCOS, irregular periods, hormonal imbalances, painful periods, etc? Well, the reason the pill appears to be“working” is because it is pumping your body with synthetic hormones. Your body actually STOPS making its own hormones, ladies! So you are completely reliant on the pill. Yes, this “balances” your hormones, but in a false sense. When you stop taking the pill, all these problems will still be there in full force.

Let’s talk infertility, one of the biggest problems associated with the birth control pill.

Because your body does not make its own hormones while on the pill explains why many women today experience infertility for a year or two when trying to conceive. Many clients come to me after a year of not being able to conceive, frustrated that it’s taking so long. What many of them have in common is that they stopped taking birth control literally the month before they started trying.

It doesn’t work that way, amigas.

Yes, some women are blessed and can get pregnant on the first try, but for some it’s much more difficult. And this is because the body has been on vacation while the pill took over and pumped out synthetic hormones for years, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it’s expected to get back to work after spending years on the beach sipping pina coladas! The body says “hell no take me back to Hawaii!”.

Good news is the body will eventually come around, but it takes time. You have to court it first with nourishing foods, exercise, supplements, and sometimes, in last case scenarios, bio identical hormones (and that makes for a whole other article).

9 Cons of the Hormonal Birth Control Pill:

  1. It damages your chance of conceiving in the future– studies have shown that women who were on the pill are twice as likely to have trouble conceiving, and even more so if they were on it for a long period of time. (1) Post-pill infertility
    affects many women today. Women getting off the pill have to learn how to make their own hormones again, and it could take months or even years to start learning again.
  2. It’s robbing your body of nutrients– Birth control pills destroy your ability to metabolize nutrients, so you are robbed of precious vitamins and minerals that are crucial to your health, resulting in fatigue, migraines, and much more. (2)
  3. Causes depression and anxiety– Because of reason number two, your body is susceptible to depression and anxiety.
  4. Lactose intolerant or vegan? All hormonal birth control contains milk, so not good if you are lactose intolerant or vegan.
  5. It’s bad for your gut health– The birth control pill destroys your gut health resulting in weight gain or loss, stomach cramps, IBS, bloating, and all other types of digestive disorders.
  6. It makes you pick the wrong mate– Since your body isn’t making its own hormones while you’re on the pill, you are choosing a mate based off your synthetic hormones. Some researchers are blaming this for the high divorce rate (3).
  7. It lowers your sex drive– Birth control lowers your testosterone, which lowers you libido. What’s the point of being on the pill to prevent against pregnancy if you aren’t having sex?
  8. Increases your risk of blood clots, heart disease, and strokes– This one is not really hidden, you can find this on all of the pamphlets. (4)
  9. It masks hormonal imbalance– Sure your hormonal imbalance will appear to “go away” with the pill because you are being pumped steadily with synthetic hormones, but when you get off, all those problems will be right their waiting for you – and most likely amplified. You can’t run away from your hormones, gals.

So now that you know the risks of taking the hormonal birth control pill, it’s probably time to explore your other options.

—–> Click HERE for 6 Alternatives to the Birth Control Pill <———–

And ladies, if you continue taking your birth control, don’t feel bad. I want you to know I’m not judging you. We all have to do what we need to do, and if having a baby is not something that is presently appropriate for you, now or ever, and you don’t think that you are able to commit to another plan, then by all means please do what is right for you. My hope for you is that you are informed and have explored all of your options before making up your mind.

Xxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

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Sources:

  1. Oakeshott, Isabel. Pill Could Harm Future Fertility. January 30, 2004. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ health/article-207039/Pill-harm-future-fertility.html (accessed April 9, 2013).
  2. Bennett, Jane, and Alexandra Pope. The Pill: Are Your Sure It’s for You? Allen & Unwin, 2008. Deroo, Bonnie, and Kenneth S. Korach. “Estrogen Receptors and Human Disease.” The Journal of Clinical Investigation 116, no. 3 (2006): 561-570.
  3. Kluger, Jeffrey. Why We Love. January 16, 2008. http://www.time.com/time/health/ article/0,8599,1704355-1,00.html.
  4. Yasmin Pamphlet. n.d.
Blog, Health & Wellness

Organic or Conventional? Plus, Money Saving Tips for Your Next Grocery Visit

Photo from Pixabay

Buy organic. Don’t buy organic. Regardless of your decision, the bottom line is that eating fruits and veggies is better than not eating them at all.

I try to eat organic every chance I get in order to protect myself from the harmful pesticide residue. But let’s be real. Buying 100% organic can be expensive! But just because you can’t always afford to buy organic, doesn’t mean you deserve to be doused with toxic chemicals.

That is why I’ve provided a list of the  “2017 Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen below to help you decide when you can save money by buying conventional, and when it is crucial to spring the extra bucks on organic.

In addition, here are other ways to save on produce:

  1. Join a CSA -When you join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program you pay a farmer in your community a monthly membership fee and they deliver a box of what’s in season to your door.
  2. Buy local and in season- Another cost effective practice is to buy produce that is in season where you live. This is much more economical than buying produce that has been shipped from far parts of the world.
  3. Don’t be shy and check out the discount aisle- Grocery stores put stuff there that will expire soon, it’s not yet expired! So if you are going to eat it for dinner that night, or even the next day, scoop it up and save some cash!
  4. Buy your dry food online – That’s right, places like Thrive Market have competitive prices on organic dry foods, and they deliver right to your door. How’s that for convenient? There is a small membership fee, but Thrive sponsors a low-income family with it.

2017 Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen List:

Dirty Dozen:

  • Strawberries
  • Spinach
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Potatoes

Clean Fifteen:

  • Sweet Corn (non-GMO)
  • Avocados
  • Pineapples
  • Cabbage
  • Onions
  • Frozen sweet peas
  • Papayas
  • Asparagus
  • Mangos
  • Eggplant
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit

Happy Shopping! And remember to support your local farmer whenever possible!

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

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Blog, Health & Wellness

DIY Cleaner Guide For a Less Toxic Home

Originally published on February 22, 2017 by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition

cleaners

Winter’s over and it’s time for spring cleaning and organizing. This year, consider making your own cleaners to save money and reduce chemicals in your home. The Environmental Working Group says in its “Cleaners Hall of Shame” list that everyday household cleaners contain some shocking fine-print warnings such as “serious burns,” “lung inflammation” and “probably carcinogenic.” And many of these cleaners are actually banned in the European Union. That’s why it’s a good idea to either opt for organic cleaners or better yet, make your own mixture.

When it comes to DIY household cleaners, vinegar is your best friend. If you don’t have it in your pantry, stock up and read on for our roundup of homemade cleaning mixes.

Glass
To clean glass surfaces, mix two cups of water, two tablespoons of white vinegar, two tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and five drops of peppermint essential oil, says Real Simple. Then pour into a spray bottle and shake to mix.

Faucets
Wipe faucets using a simple mix of dishwashing liquid and warm water, then buff with a cloth, according to the book Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home. If the faucets have mineral deposits, you can wrap them in a paper towel soaked with white vinegar. Remove the wet paper towel after one hour, and then clean with a dry one.

Bathtubs
HGTV suggests using baking soda, which is mildly abrasive, to scrub away bathtub rings. If the tub is really dirty, mix baking soda and water, let it sit on the tub surface for up to 20 minutes, and then scrub away with a sponge.

Clothing
Instead of using fabric softener, which may cause asthma and other health issues, try half a cup of distilled white vinegar in your washer during the rinse cycle. (PS-Your clothes won’t smell like vinegar.)  EWG says you can also make your own dryer balls with wool batting or wool yarn.

Toilets
Scrub your toilet with a mix of ½ a cup of castile soap (which is vegetable-based), ½ a cup of baking soda, 15 to 30 drops of essential oil, 1 cup of distilled water, and a spray of hydrogen peroxide. The recipe on Live Simplysuggests that rather than mixing hydrogen peroxide into the bottle, it’s easiest to spray it directly into the toilet bowl after you’ve put the mixture in the bowl. Otherwise, gas from the hydrogen peroxide can build up in the bottle. And vinegar can be used here too in place of hydrogen peroxide.

What’s your favorite DIY cleaner recipe? Share with us in the comments below.

This article originally published on Institute of Integrative Nutrition and used with permission.

Blog, Health & Wellness

3 Steps to Look Younger and Increase Your Energy Levels NOW.

pexels-photo-57851

Two Questions for YOU:

  1. How many times have you suffered from aches and pains, and quickly reached for the bottle of Advil?
  2. Would you like to look younger than your age for as long as possible AND have more energy? (Me! Me! Me!)

Well, guess what? The two of these things DO NOT go together! In the body we have something called mitochondria. We are only born with a certain amount of mitochondria, and after the age of 40-45 it automatically starts going into mitochondrial dysfunction, meaning they slowly decline in number. However, in many people today it starts degenerating earlier due to toxins, stress, and poor diet that create INFLAMMATION.

So why is mitochondria so important and what the heck does it have to do with staying young? AND if inflammation causes it to degenerate, wouldn’t Advil be the magic pill to stop it?

Mitochondria is the body’s battery. When it starts wearing down, then the body starts to wear out, resulting in less energy. In addition, impaired mitochondria means less oxygen supply to your body, and this accelerates the aging process. Think about how oils go bad as they oxidize. Well, when your mitochondria degenerates, YOU start to oxidize!!

But did you know that Advil (also known by its generic name ibuprofen) KILLS your mitochondria?! Not to mention your gut flora as well.

So what to use instead of Advil? And how to cut back on inflammation in the first place?

3 Steps to Beat Inflammation and Regenerate Your Mitochondria For a Younger Looking You:

1. TURMERIC!!! fullsizerender-17

Turmeric is Mother Nature’s best anti-inflammatory weapon. I encourage you to get as much of it as possible. I like to add it to my warm lemon water in the morning, and to my herbal tea at night.

Now, it won’t kill the pain within 30 minutes like Advil, but after a few weeks of taking turmeric daily, the inflammation will go down in your body, and you will not need the Advil. You see, turmeric is getting to the root of the problem versus just putting a bandaid over it like Advil. (To find out more about turmeric and the recipe for a “Turmeric Latte” (one of my favorite drinks) then click HERE. )

2. Take fish oil (or if vegan, algae oil). Just make sure you get one with a high EPA/DHA content, and take it everyday.

3. Cut out inflammatory foods like gluten, refined grains, dairy, and vegetable oils.

To find out how to incorporate steps look younger step-by-step, download my 7_steps-1book “7 Steps to a Healthier You” available now on Amazon for Kindle.

With Gratitude,

Health Coach Jenna

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Blog, Gut Health, Health & Wellness

Leaky Gut Syndrome +9 Signs You Might Have It

leakygut

Your gut is responsible for much more than just digesting your lunch. Your gut, and the 100 trillions of bacteria that call it home, are responsible for your overall mental and physical wellbeing. Hippocrates said 2,000 years ago that “all disease begins in the gut”, and modern scientist are just now realizing how true this statement is.

For optimum health you should maintain a 85-to-15 percent ratio of good bacteria to bad. Once the bad bacteria rises above 15 percent, the immune system begins to slow down and sets off a chain reaction that promotes disease, digestion problems, and interferes with nutrient absorption.

You may have heard of Dr. Axe and his work with leaky gut syndrome, also known as “intestinal permeability”. Leaky gut is just as gross as it sounds. It’s when the intestinal wall breaks down and creates openings, which allow toxins, microbes and undigested food particles to seep into your blood stream. Your immune system then labels these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them. When this happens, it causes inflammation throughout the body, leading to disease.

The immune response to these invaders can appear in the form of any of the nine signs listed below:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Eczema and psoriasis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)
  • Type 1 diabetes

Leaky Gut and Gluten: 

Leaky gut syndrome is really no laughing matter. It might have a non-serious sounding gfree3name, but it is an epidemic in westernized countries, do to the increase of gluten in our food supplies, and the rampant overuse of antibiotics. Leaky gut is causing many of the disease we suffer from today, so it’s wise we start taking it seriously.

In 2000, Alesso Fasano, MD, at the University of Maryland made a groundbreaking discovery. Fasano isolated the substance that directly controls the tight junctions in the gut wall, and causes the gates to open, causing leaky gut. It’s a protein called “zonulin” and guess what triggers its release?

If you guessed gluten then give yourself a gold star.

Gluten and the exposure to bacteria are the only two things that can trigger the release of zonulin. This discovery has resulted in zonulin being compared to finding the root source of leaky gut.

If you have leaky gut, there is good news. With changes to your diet and lifestyle, it can be healed.

How To Heal a Leaky Gut

1.Remove all foods and factors that damage the gut.

2. Replace with healing foods.

3. Reintroduce– with probiotics and fermented foods.

4. Repair– with specific supplements.

If you would like to start healing your leaky gut today, then schedule your health consult with me by clicking HERE.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Health Coach Jenna

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Health & Wellness, Uncategorized, Weight Loss

An Omnivore’s Guide to Clean Protein

milk

Meat consumption has dramatically increased in the US over the past century, and sadly, the quality of meat has declined. A large amount of the meat consumed is of poor quality, originating in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where animals are kept in unclean and inhuman conditions. These animals are fed a diet of mostly GMO grains instead of grass, resulting in meat that is full of Omega 6’s. Furthermore, these animals are injected with hormones and antibiotics that also end up on your plate.

Grass-fed and pastured meat (as well as dairy and eggs) is superior to that from animals raised in CAFOs in many ways:

  • Higher in total Omega 3’s
  • Higher in CLA, a potential cancer fighter
  • Higher in vitamin E
  • Higher in B vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
  • Higher in minerals magnesium, potassium, and calcium
  • Higher in beto-caroten

When you are next faced with the decision between the factory farmed meat and the organic, pastured meat, remember that a healthy animal means a healthy you.

Your Healthy Meat Eating Guide:

  1. Choose grass-fed, pasture raised organic meats.-By choosing these meats you are getting healthy Omega 3’s which fight inflammation, you are also skipping out on all the added hormones, as well as antibiotics that destroy your healthy gut bacteria.
  2. Avoid all processed meats-The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed processed meats as carcinogenic. This includes deli meats and bacon.
  3. Eat the correct portion size- The healthy portion size is the same size of a deck of cards. Stick to this portion, and fill the rest of your plate with vegetables. You will also find that when eating the correct portion size, your grocery bill will significantly lower. It doesn’t have to be expensive to eat organic, grass-fed or pastured meat. Just eat the correct portion and your pocket book will not suffer.
  4. Limit your intake of red meat. –The WHO also disclosed that high levels of red meat can be carcinogenic so it’s best to limit your intake. Instead, try replacing with lean protein such as chicken, fish, or plant based protein. And don’t forget about the power of eggs! Each egg has six grams of protein.
  5. Prepare the right way-Studies have shown that high-temperature cooking methods such as charring, smoking, frying, or grilling leads to the production of compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs) which have been shown to cause cancer in animals. As an alternative to cooking your meat at high-temperature, I encourage you to cook with low-temperature, slow-cooking methods such as baking, poaching, stewing, and roasting.

 And don’t forget plant based sources of protein!!

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One of the most popular misconceptions that people have about a plant based diet is that it is impossible to get enough protein without meat. Well guess what? I’m here to inform you that this is a myth!

It is entirely possible to get your daily requirement of protein without eating meat. In fact, the leanest, cleanest sources of protein are beans and other legumes, as they are free of cholesterol, hormones, and antibiotics.

To find out all the complete plant based proteins available, click HERE. I encourage you to have at least one meat-free day a week. It will do a world of good for the environment.

Happy Clean Eating!

Health Coach Jenna

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Blog, Health & Wellness, Vegan and Vegetarian Health

A Complete Protein Eating Guide for Vegans and Vegetarians

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One of the most popular misconceptions that people have about a plant based diet is that it is impossible to get enough protein without meat. Well guess what? I’m here to inform you that this is a myth!

It is entirely possible to get your daily requirement of protein without eating meat. In fact, the leanest, cleanest sources of protein are beans and other legumes, as less than five percent of their calories from fat. They are also free of cholesterol, hormones, and antibiotics.

So what makes a complete protein?

A complete protein refers to the building blocks of protein, called amino acids. There are twenty different amino acids that form a protein, and nine that the body can’t make on it’s own. These nine amino acids are called essential amino acids. They are essential because we need to eat them, as our bodies can’t make them.

For a food to be deemed a complete protein, it must contain all the nine essential amino acids in close to equal amounts.

So while meat and eggs are indeed complete proteins, nuts and beans aren’t. But hold the phone! This doesn’t mean you can’t get all of your essential amino acids on a plant based diet! We don’t need every essential amino acid in every bite of food, we just need a sufficient amount of each amino acid every day.

So with a combination of different plant based foods each day, it’s easy breezy to get all of the essential amino acids your body needs!

First, let’s go over the plant based foods that are complete proteins. And as we discussed earlier, a complete protein means that you get all of the nine essential amino acids by eating a portion of it on its own.

Vegan Complete Protein Sources:

  1. quinoaQuinoa- 8 grams of protein per one cooked cup
  2. Buckwheat- 6 grams of protein per one cooked cup
  3. Avocado- 3 grams of protein per one avocado
  4. Soy- 10grams of protein per ½ cup firm tofu, 15 grams of protein per ½ cup tempeh. (Please eat soy in moderation, make sure it is non-GMO, and remember to only eat soy in its fermented version- tempeh, tofu, miso)
  5. Quorn (Mycoprotein)- 13 grams per ½ cup serving.
  6. Protein powder- The content varies by brand, but most have around 22 grams per serving. Make sure when buying to choose one that is non-GMO, and that has a complete amino acid profile.
  7. Ezekiel Bread- Ezekiel bread is made from wheat (they also make a gluten free version), barley, millet, beans, lentils, and spelt, making it a complete protein. The bread is also made using sprouted grain, which increases the bread’s fiber and vitamin content. This also makes it easier to digest.

Honorary members:

You might have notice that hempseeds and chia seeds are missing from this list. Although they do contain all nine essential amino acids, they are both too low in lysine to be considered complete. But they are still excellent forms of protein! I love to add them to my smoothies and oatmeal. Hemp seeds are also great stir-fried with vegetables, and they make an excellent salad topping.

  1. Hempseeds- 10 grams per 2 tablespoon serving
  2. Chia Seeds- 4 grams per 2 tablespoon serving

Now, let’s talk about how to pair plant based foods to create a complete serving of protein.

The Amazing Duos: 

  1. Rice and beans-

Rice and beans complement each other perfectly as beans are low in methionine and high in lysine, and rice is low in lysine and high in methionine. Combine these two and you have a meal with heaps of complete protein.

  1. Peanut butter sandwich-

Combine peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)  with whole grain and you get a complete protein! Remember to choose organic peanut butter with no oil and sugar, as the oils tend to be full of hydrogenated fats and sugar is toxic. Make sure to use a whole grain bread, and even better, choose a gluten free bread!

  1. Hummus and pita-

Wheat is deficient in lysine, but guess what? Chickpeas are high in lysiene! Pair these two for a complete protein.

     4. Spirulina with grains

Spirulina is lacking in methionine and cysteine, but combine it with nuts, seeds, or oats and you have a complete protein. My favorite way to combine these is in a green smoothie.

  1. Oats with nuts or peanut butter-

Add some peanut butter or nuts to your oatmeal and you are in business.

Basically, combine any grain with a nut, seed, or legume, and you have yourself a complete protein. The possibilities are endless.

So what is the right amount of protein?

You should eat on average 0.75 to 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass.

According to women’s health specialist Dr. Sara Gottfried:

“For women of average size, aim for 75 to 125 grams per day, depending upon your level of activity and weight. So for a 150-pound woman with 25 percent body fat, that’s 31 pounds of fat mass, and 119 pounds of lean body mass, so the range is 89 to 119 grams of protein per day. For an athlete, aim for the higher end of the range. If you’re less fit, aim lower on the range. In general, that’s about 8 to 12 ounces per day. When it comes to protein consumption, you want to determine the correct dose. Too little protein will mean you lose lean body mass, and in people who’ve lost weight, weight regain.”

That’s why for vegetarians and vegans, and even my omnivore clients, I recommend one protein drink a day from a clean protein powder source such as pea protein.

xxxxxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

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Brain Health, Gut Health, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss

10 Reasons Why You Should Add Ghee to Your Diet

ghee

Much like coconut oil, ghee is a multi-purpose fat that is healthy in many ways. I religiously start my day off with a cup of matcha (after my warm lemon water of course!), blended with one tablespoon of ghee, and three tablespoons of coconut oil. This keeps my metabolism revving, helps my body maintain a healthy weight, and gives me a burst of mental clarity.

Find out why you might want to include ghee into your daily diet as well.

10 Reasons to Eat Ghee:

1. High in Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Because ghee—if it is from grass-fed cows—is high in Omega 3s, it protects against inflammation and heart disease.

2. Promotes Healthy Weight

Ingesting ghee helps pull fat-soluble toxins from your cells and stimulates your fat metabolism resulting in your body burning its own fat for fuel.

3. Supports Gut Health

Ghee creates beneficial bacteria in our gut and it also contains butyric acid, which helps keep the lining of the gut wall strong. This prevents you from getting leaky gut syndrome.

4. Easy to Digest

Because ghee is lactose free it is easy to digest. Ayurveda, India’s traditional system of medicine meaning “science of life”, teaches that ghee stimulates the digestive fire which speeds up the metabolism.

5. Lactose Free

Ghee is safe for those with dairy allergies because the lactose has been removed during the clarification process. Most of the casein (the protein from animal foods shown to cause cancer) has also been removed. However, if you are casein intolerant you should not consume ghee as it still contains trace amounts.

6. Makes for the Perfect Cooking Oil

Ghee has a high smoke point of 485’F / 252’C making it a great oil for cooking.

7. Tastes Amazing

Ghee is rich and delicious. One of my favorite meals is veggies cooked in ghee with some hemp seeds sprinkled on top.

8. Fat Soluble Vitamin Heaven

Ghee is chock full of vitamins such as:

  • Vitamin E: Most adults are deficient in this. It’s important to get sufficient intake as it is a potent antioxidant and immune system booster. Vitamin E is also important for eye health and has cancer fighting properties.
  • Vitamin A: Important for healthy vision, immune function, and proper cell growth.
  • Vitamin K: Prevents blood clotting, protects from heart disease, ensures healthy skin, forms strong bones, and promotes brain function. In studies it has been show to reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
  • Vitamin D: Plays a key role in almost all of our physiological functions. It is an immune system regulator so it is vital to our health. Vitamin D aids in prevention of osteoporosis, many types of cancer, depression, diabetes and obesity.

9. Ghee made from grass-fed cows contains CLA.

Studies indicate that conjugated linoleic acid may help to reduce tumors, lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and actually lower body fat.

10. Ghee contains butyrate, an essential short-chain fatty acid

Butyrate, or butyric acid, is a short-chain fatty acid that improves colon health. It’s been shown to support healthy insulin levels, is an anti-inflammatory, and may be helpful for individuals suffering from IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Have you tried ghee before? What are your favorite ways to add it to your diet? Tell me all about it in the comments section below!

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Health Coach Jenna

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Blog, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss

Are You Getting Enough Protein?

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Protein. It’s vital for our health. But did you know that too much protein can actually increase the rate of chronic disease and weight gain? The other day I was at a popular “healthy” chain where they offered a gluten-free, hemp-seed brownie, advertised to have tons of protein. First of all, not only was this thing laden with sugar, but after eating a balanced meal, more protein is redundant. It can actually be detrimental to your health, as studies have shown that eating more protein than your body needs causes weight gain, inflammation, dehydration, stress on your kidneys, and loss of important bone minerals.

The average American consumes 100-120 grams of protein a day, which is about two to three times the amount we need. Despite these statistics, it still seems everyone is paranoid about getting enough of the stuff. When in reality, chances are you don’t even have to worry about protein deficiency, as it is almost nonexistent in developed countries.

How much protein do I need?

The USDA’s recommendation is .36 gram of protein for every pound of body weight. However if you are pregnant or lactating, are an athlete trying to build muscle and/or you work out more than an hour at least four times a week, or are under stress, you need .45 gram per pound of body weight.

Where should I get my protein from?

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Whether you choose to get your protein from animals or plants is completely up to you. Being vegetarian is a lifestyle choice that should come from a genuine desire to change your diet, not because someone told you to do so. Alternatively, if you are eating meat, it is important to get it from a healthy and sustainable source.

Is it possible to get enough protein without eating meat?!

One of the most popular misconceptions that people have about a plant based diet is that it is impossible to get enough protein without meat. Well guess what? I’m here to inform you that this is a myth!

It is entirely possible to get your daily requirement of protein without eating meat. In fact, the leanest, cleanest sources of protein are beans and other legumes, as less than five percent of their calories come from fat. They are also free of cholesterol, hormones, and antibiotics. A variety of plant-based protein powders can also be found on the market today. This is an excellent way for vegetarians and vegans to make sure they are covered. I put a heaping scoop everyday in my morning smoothie.

What about protein from meat?

milk

Meat consumption has dramatically increased in the US over the past century, and sadly, the quality of meat has declined. A large amount of the meat consumed is of poor quality, originating in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) where animals are kept in unclean and inhumane conditions. These animals are fed a diet of mostly GMO grains instead of grass, resulting in meat that is full of Omega 6’s. Furthermore, these animals are injected with hormones and antibiotics that also end up on your plate.

Grass-fed and pastured meat (as well as dairy and eggs) is superior to that from animals raised in CAFOs in many ways:

  • Higher in total Omega 3’s
  • Higher in CLA, a potential cancer fighter
  • Higher in vitamin E
  • Higher in the B vitamins thiamin and riboflavin
  • Higher in the minerals magnesium, potassium, and calcium
  • Higher in beta-carotene

When you are next faced with the decision between factory farmed meat and organic, pastured meat, remember that a healthy animal means a healthy you.

Happy clean eating!

Health Coach Jenna

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Food Politics, Health & Wellness

What The New Nutrition Label Means For You

nutrition

In July of 2018 ( *Sigh* I know, I wish it was sooner as well!) new nutrition labels will start appearing on food items in the U.S. But what do these labels mean for you and your family? Today, the nice people over at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition will give us all the details about this huge win for the consumers.

What The New Nutrition Fact Labels Mean For You

by Integrative Nutrition:

For the first time in over 20 years, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved changes to nutrition fact labels. Under the new regulations announced May 20, food manufacturers are required to disclose the amount of added sugar in their products and adjust suggested serving sizes to reflect how much is realistically consumed.

This change is coming at a time when waistbands in the United States are continuing to expand—a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 30% of Americans 20 and older are obese, a significant jump from 19% percent in 1997.

At Integrative Nutrition, we understand that maintaining a healthy weight can be difficult, especially when many of the calories we consume are coming from hidden added sugars—about 13% for the average American, according to the FDA.

In fact, several of our Visiting Teachers have spoken up about the sugar epidemic, including Drs. Mark Hyman and Robert Lustig. Dr. Hyman suggests that sugar is a “recreational drug” and the trillion-dollar industrial food system is the biggest drug dealer around and Dr. Lustig has started the “war on sugar,” spending years researching sugar addiction in populations around the world.

Added sugar—disguised as “agave,” “sucrose,” “cane juice,” and “lactose” to name a few (check out this New York Times article for a full list)—is in more products that the average consumer may realize. Many yogurts, tomato sauces, and even salad dressings contain some form of additional sweetener. In fact, a recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina found that 68 percent of all packaged foods and beverages contained added sugar.

This update to nutrition fact labels will aim to help increase consumer awareness of the quantity of added sugars in foods, according to the FDA.

Additionally, portion sizes will also be adjusted to reflect the amount of a product actually consumed. For instance, a serving of ice cream will grow from 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup (because how many of us truly eat 1/2 cup of ice cream?!). Twelve- and 20-ounce bottles of soft drinks will each be listed as one serving, instead of two, because most people realistically drink the entire bottle in one sitting.

The increased serving size will prevent companies from deceiving customers who believe they are consuming fewer calories and grams of sugar than are actually in the entire product.

The new labels will take effect in July of 2018 for major manufacturers. Those who generate less than $10 million in food sales will have an additional year to comply.

What are your thoughts about the FDA’s updates to nutrition fact labels? Share in the comments below!

This article was originally published on Integrative Nutrition.