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!!

avo

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

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

 

 

Juices, Recipes, Weight Loss

Cleansing Cucumber Juice

Processed with VSCO with m3 preset

Cucumber juice is one of the most effective ways to hydrate, cleanse and alkalize the body. It’s the perfect tonic for losing weight and alleviating digestive problems like bloating, heartburn and indigestion. Sometimes I juice straight cucumber and add it to my water throughout the day with a squeeze of lemon.

Today I made a sweet potion with cucumber, lemon, ginger and apple. I recommend this juice any time you are feeling bloated, or feel the need for cleansing after a day of indulgence. It’s a great juice to have daily, as it will keep you hydrated and feeling groovy, and is the perfect juice to add to any detox.

Ingredients:

  •  2 large peeled cucumbers
  • 1/2 green apple 🍏
  • 1 lemon 🍋
  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger

Happy Juicing!

Health Coach Jenna

 

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

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!

xxxxxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

Juices, Recipes, Weight Loss

Bloated Blues Beet Juice

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Feeling bloated? Perhaps you are about to start your “Ladies’ Holiday” or have been indulging in foods you don’t normally eat?

Don’t be sad!  It happens to the best of us!

My favorite way to reset and get back on track is with this beet, celery, ginger, lemon and apple juice. Celery and beets are diuretics and will flush out excess water weight, and beets will flush your liver of toxins stat. The ginger is also excellent for detoxing because it creates heat in the body, and lemon is always a superhero for cleaning out the system.

I’ve Got the Bloated Blues Beet Juice:

  • 8 stalks celery
  • 1 large beet or 2 small
  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4- 1/2 green apple (adjust to your personal preference of sweetness)

Happy Juicing!

Health Coach Jenna

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

 

 

 

Blog, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss

Are You Getting Enough Protein?

avo

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.

How much protein do I need?

Well, it all boils down to the individual. How frequently do you work out? Are you male or female? How much do you weigh? Are you under stress or are you pregnant? These are some of the factors that contribute to determining how much protein you need. A simple 0.45 grams of protein per pound like the USDA recommends may not be enough.

According to women’s hormone expert, Dr. Sara Gottfried, you should eat an average of 0.75-1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. If you are an athlete, or under extreme stress, or lactating, or pregnant, you should eat on the higher end. If you lead a more sedentary life, or work out less than 3 times a week, aim for the lower end.

I agree with the amounts listed by Dr. Gottfried, but with one exception: if you lead a more sedentary lifestyle, 0.4-0.5 grams per pound of lean body mass should be sufficient for your needs (per Dave Asprey).

Where should I get my protein from?

DSC_0037

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. 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

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

 

 

Blog, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss

Tips for Staying Hydrated This Summer

drinkwater

Summer time is here, folks! Time for the beach, pool parties, and family vacations. But with the sublime summer vibes come the rising temperatures. So it is crucial you continue to stay hydrated. Many health problems stem from simply not drinking enough water, which is a shame because it’s such an easy fix!

Your body is made up of 70 percent water and your brain is almost 80 percent water, so it is imperative to stay fully hydrated for optimum health. Being completely hydrated boosts your metabolism, gives you more energy, burns more calories, and you will find it easier to sustain a healthy weight.

Sounds amazing right?!

What Type of Water Should I Drink?

Seeing as the average public water supply contains a minimum of 27 different chemicals from toxins such as pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides, herbicides, and insect repellants, ideally you should aim to drink purified, spring or filtered water.

How Much Should I Drink?

Drink half your bodyweight (in pounds) in ounces per day.

For example, if you weight 150 pounds (68kg) you should drink 75 ounces (2.2 liters) of water per day.

When Should I Drink It?

I recommend drinking one liter first thing in the morning. Doing this will flush out all of those yucky toxins that your organs were working hard to get rid of while you were sleeping and dreaming of unicorns.

Good ole’ organs, huh?

Drink the rest of the water throughout the day, and try to avoid drinking loads before bed, as this could interrupt your beauty sleep with frequent visits to the loo.

It’s also best to not drink COLD water right before or during your meals, as this diverts energy to heat up the cold water to body temperature -the same energy that should be digesting your food. The best rule of thumb is to hydrate in between meals, and to drink a cup of room temperature water 10-20 minutes before meals. Cold water, however, is okay at other times.

Do whatever it takes to remember to drink your quota. Some suggested methods include:

  • Pour your daily water quota into pitchers and make sure you finish them.
  • Set an alarm on your phone throughout the day, reminding you to drink a glass.
  • Put your car keys in the bottom of a liter of water so you have to drink it before you can get to work. No, just kidding. But if you think it would work for you then by all means give it a whirl!

And remember to fill up your BPA free water bottles so you don’t have to buy plastic water bottles when away from the house. I personally love my Klean Kanteen, and never leave the house without it.

Make sure to not don’t be a sucker to those sugary sports drinks that advertise themselves as “healthy”- they lie!  The only gifts these will leave you with are diabetes and/or weight gain. The best supplement to drink (in addition to your daily water quota) is pure coconut water. Coconut water is better than any sports drink, as it is naturally full of electrolytes. But make sure you buy the kind that is not from concentrate, and avoid ones with added sugars like the plague.

Alright folks, enjoy your summer and remember to stay hydrated!

xxxx

Health Coach Jenna

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

 

Blog, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss

Why You Should Switch to Whole Grains + Buying Guide

Bread_and_grains

If you are trying to get healthy but are still eating white rice, pasta, or white bread, you might find you are paddling upstream with no paddles. If you are serious about reaching your optimum weight and wish to feel healthy, abundant and vibrant, you must switch to whole grains.

What makes a grain whole?

Whole grains include the whole kernel, whereas refined grains remove the bran and the germ. Without these, 25% of the grain’s protein is lost, as well as much of the fiber and other important nutrients. In regards to appearance, whole grains are usually brown in color, and refined grains are white.

Why Whole Grains?

It all comes down to fiber and the glycemic index. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Due to the high content of fiber in whole grains, the glucose is digested by the body at a slower rate. This is desirable because it results in a steady release of fuel/glucose to the body, instead of a quick burst of glucose.

This process is explained by something called the glycemic index, which is a term to describe the time it takes the body to turn food into fuel. Whole grains have more fiber, which slows down the digestion process, resulting in a steady release of glucose. Whereas refined grains have little or no fiber, are digested quickly, and release a massive dose of glucose to the body all at once.

When you eat foods with a high glycemic index your insulin levels spike, resulting in a quick surge of energy, followed by a crash. This is undesirable as excess insulin levels cause the body to hold on to fat. Flour is especially detrimental because it is pulverized, making it the most rapidly digested form of grain. Eating grain flour results in a dangerously high glycemic load leading to inflammation, weight gain, and blood sugar imbalances.

Low glycemic index foods such as whole grains, however, have the opposite effect. These foods work for you by promoting weight loss by keeping you full longer. They also balance your blood sugar levels, which results in a steady stream of energy throughout the day.

A good way to avoid the afternoon sugar crash blues is to eat whole grains instead of refined ones.

Whole Grain Buying Guide:

(All of the grains below are naturally gluten-free)

Quinoa 

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has the highest nutritional profile and is the fastest  cooking of all grains.

 Characteristics: quinoa

  • Gluten-free
  • Ideal food for endurance
  • Contains all eight amino acids to make it a complete protein
  • Has a protein content equal to milk
  • High in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, and vitamin E
  • Easy to digest

When cooking, try making a lot of quinoa at once, and eat it as leftovers. Quinoa can be reheated with a splash of nut milk for breakfast porridge; you can add dried fruit, nuts, and cinnamon for a sweet treat. Add finely chopped raw vegetables and dressing for a cooling salad, or add chopped, cooked, root vegetables for a warming side dish. Store dry, uncooked quinoa in a cool, dry, dark place in a tightly closed glass jar for up to one year.

Before cooking, quinoa must be rinsed to remove the toxic (but naturally occurring) bitter coating, called saponin. Although quinoa is rinsed before it is packaged and sold, it is wise to rinse again at home before use.

Millet

Millet is a very small, round grain that traces back thousands of years. It was the staple grain in China before rice became popular and continues to sustain people in Africa, China, Russia, and India, among other places.

Characteristics millet

  • Gluten-free
  • Soothing, especially for indigestion or morning sickness
  • Anti-fungal; helps ease Candida symptoms
  • Improves breath
  • Warming; good to eat in cool or rainy weather
  • High in protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, and potassium
  • Contains silica, which helps keep bones flexible in aging process

Millet can be used in porridges, cereal, soups, and dense breads. (Click HERE for a delicious millet dish that can be eaten at any time of the day) It is a delicious wheat-free substitution for couscous, as it has a similar consistency. Millet is often found in the bulk section of the health food store and is generally not sold in regular supermarkets. Store in an airtight jar or glass container for six to nine months.

Brown Rice

Brown rice has all the bran layers intact (unlike white rice) and contains all of its naturally present nutrients. These layers of bran act to protect the grain and to help maintain its fatty acids. Brown rice contains the highest amount of B vitamins out of all grains. Additionally, it contains iron, vitamin E, amino acids, and linoleic acid. Brown rice is high in fiber, extremely low in sodium, and is composed of 80% complex carbohydrates.

Characteristics brownrice

  • Gluten-free
  • Promotes good digestion
  • Quenches thirst
  • Balances blood sugar and controls mood swings

When purchasing brown rice I recommend buying organic brown rice and storing it in airtight glass jars in a dark cupboard.

Kasha/ Buckwheat

Kasha is the name for buckwheat that has been roasted to a deep amber color. Despite its name, buckwheat is not actually a member of the wheat family, but rather a relative of rhubarb. Of all the grains, buckwheat has the longest transit time in the digestive tract and is the most filling.  Buckwheat is a great staple for vegetarians as it is a complete protein.

Characteristics: kasha

  • Gluten-free
  • Stabilizes blood sugar
  • Builds blood; neutralizes toxic acidic waste
  • Benefits circulation
  • High proportion of all eight amino acids, especially lysine making it a complete protein.
  • Rich in vitamin E and B-complex vitamins

Kasha has a robust, earthy flavor and makes a very hearty meal. It can be eaten as a hot breakfast cereal, a side dish, or a grain entrée mixed with vegetables.

Oats

Oats were one of the first cereals cultivated by man and have been eaten as far back as 7,000 B.C.. The Scottish brought the cereal over to North America in the 17th century, and it has been a love affair ever since as 75% of the American population eats them.

Characteristics: 

  • Rich in avenanthramide, an antioxidant that protects the heart.
  • Aids digestion
  • Rich in fiber
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Improves nervous system function

Oats are naturally gluten-free, but are usually processed in facilities that process wheat, so trace amounts of wheat can be found in them. Usually people with gluten sensitivity can digest this trace amount, but those with celiac disease cannot. If you wish to avoid gluten all together, many brands offer special gluten-free oats. (Click HERE for a yummy overnight oats recipe)

When buying oats make sure to avoid instant because they are more refined. Instead, choose rolled or steel cut oats. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Organic Oats.

Have fun getting wholly!

Health Coach Jenna

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

 

 

Blog, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss

The Gluten-Free Life: Just Another Fad?

 

Gluten Free sign with clouds and sky backgroundLet’s Talk Gluten.

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, rye, kamut, barley, spelt, and some oats. It is formed when the two proteins called Gliadin and Glutenin are combined with water. Gluten is touch and rubbery, and responsible for allowing bread o stretch and rise. Chances are you eat a lot of gluten, as the standard western diet consists of pizza, pasta, bread (to find out what is wrong with supermarket bread click HERE) , and processed foods- all very high in gluten.

Just Another Fad?

I kGfree2now it seems like everyone is talking about going “gluten-free” and critics accuse it of being the new “fat-free” fad. And they are not entirely wrong. Food companies have indeed taken this opportunity to shell out tons of processed, sugary, crap food that are marketed as “gluten-free”. 

Don’t buy into it, folks. If you want to live a gluten-free lifestyle, stick to real, whole foods. If you do this you can’t lose.

I have personally found so much success with being gluten-free. It wasn’t until I made this switch that I ditched the extra five-ten stubborn pounds, my brain fog hit the road, and my recurring rash completely disappeared.

So although being gluten-free can seem like the newest fad, this is much more serious than just a quick diet to lose weight. But if weight gain is your goal, eating gluten will sure get you there quickly.

Why Gluten Can Be Harmful:

Gluten intolerance and sensitivity affects millions of Americans, most of whom are unaware. These people complain of bloating, migraines, an inability to lose weight, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, rashes, and more. Many times this is simply an allergic reaction to gluten.gfree3

According to a review in The New England Journal of Medicine, there are 55 diseases that can be caused by eating gluten. (i) These include irritable bowel syndrome, cancer, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and almost all other autoimmune diseases. Gluten is also linked to anxiety, depression, (ii) schizophrenia, dementia, as well as autism. (iii)

Gluten is problematic for people with celiac disease, and for those with gluten sensitivities. Celiac disease is the most extreme, affecting an estimated three million Americans. (iv) A person with celiac disease is completely gluten intolerant and must eliminate gluten entirely from their diet.

The only way to find out if you have celiac disease is to get tested. The blood test is about 95% accurate, and it’s advised to get a biopsy to confirm. An important fact to remember is that you must be eating gluten for the test to be accurate. The removal of gluten for people with celiac disease must be a habit maintained for life.

Gluten is also detrimental to those with gluten sensitivity. It’s estimated that one-third of the American population is gluten sensitive. These people include those who have tested negative for celiac disease but have relief from problematic symptoms when gluten is avoided.

If you suffer from bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, rashes, joint pain, arthritis, depression, anxiety, migraines, constipation, or the inability to lose weight, I encourage you to go two weeks without gluten to see if it could be the cause.

So What Are My Alternatives?

Your options are really limitless on this one! There are so many naturally gluten-free foods that are full of fiber and other beneficial vitamins and minerals.

Naturally Gluten-Free Foods:

  • brown rice
  • millet
  • kasha
  • gluten-free oats
  • quinoa
  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • nuts/seeds
  • beans
  • most dairy
  • eggs
  • fish, poultry, meat
  • herbs

Beware of:

-Barley labeled under malt, malt flavoring, malt vinegar, and brewer’s yeast.

– distilled vinegar

-soy sauce

Once again, remember to be a label detective. It’s very easy for gluten to hide in processed items and condiments, so the more you stick to real, whole foods, the easier it will be to avoid.

Happy to be Gluten-Free,

Health Coach Jenna

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

Sources:

(i) Rubio-Tapia A, Kyle RA, Kaplan EL, Johnson DR, Page W, Erdtmann F, Brantner TL, Kim WR, Phelps TK, Lahr BD, Zinsmeister AR, Melton LJ 3rd, Murray JA. Increased prevalence and mortality in undiagnosed celiac disease. Gastroenterology. 2009 Jul;137(1):88-93

(ii) Ludvigsson JF, Reutfors J, Osby U, Ekbom A, Montgomery SM. Celiac disease and risk of mood disorders–a general population-based cohort study. J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):117-26. Epub 2006 Oct 6.

(iii) Millward C, Ferriter M, Calver S, Connell-Jones G. Gluten- and casein-free diets for autistic spectrum disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(2):CD003498. Review.

(iv) Gluten: What You Don’t Know Might Kill You – Dr. Mark Hyman. (2011). Retrieved March 1, 2016, from http://drhyman.com/blog/2011/03/17/gluten-what-you-dont-know-might-kill-you/

Blog, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss

Why Eating Fat Makes You Thin & How To Distinguish the Good From the Bad

avo

I have a love affair with fat. I must be making up for lost time in the 90’s. But sadly, many lovely people are missing out because of a silly fad that began in the 1980’s.

A little nutrition history:

In the 1980’s, fat was deemed the new enemy ,and the food industry was quick to jump to action. As a result, food corporations created a variety of fat-free and low-fat products that started spreading on the shelves of the supermarkets like wild fire. The mantra was “take out the fat and add lots of sugar”.

And you know what? We gobbled it up.

But this insanity stops here – no longer will be buy into this fallacy. Today we are more knowledgeable, and as numerous studies have discovered, fats are crucial for our health and for maintaining our optimum weight.

The caveat, however, is that not all fats are created equally.

Know Your Enemies:

Here is the golden rule: There are good fats and there are bad fats. The good fats are your friends and promote weight loss, brain health and normal levels of cholesterol. They also protect against inflammation, which causes disease and obesity. The bad fats on the other hand promote abnormal levels of cholesterol, weight gain, and inflammation.

Which one would you choose?

The Good Guys:

  • Unprocessed organic oils like coconut oil, avocados and avocado oil,
  • Organic butter from grass-fed cows, clarified butter, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Raw nuts and seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.
  • Egg yolks from pastured hens.
  • Lean meat from animals that are free range and/or grass fed.
  • Coconut oil, which has special medium-chain fatty acids that promote a healthy metabolism, immune system, skin and thyroid.

 The Bad Guys:

  • Corn oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soy oil
  • Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats
  • Margarine and shortening

 So what makes the bad fats bad and the good fats good?

 It all comes down to the Omega 3’s And 6’s.

The good fats are full of healthy Omega 3’s and 6’s and the bad guys are overloaded with Omega 6’s. For optimum health the ideal ratio of Omega 6 to 3 is 1:1. However, thanks to the Standard American Diet (S.A.D), the average American has a 15:1 ratio. This is a direct result from highly processed vegetable oils and trans fat.

But won’t eating fat make me fat?

No! Not if you are eating the good, friendly fats. Eating healthy fats keeps you satiated longer, and gets your metabolism revving, enabling you to burn more fat and maintain a healthy weight.

But what about my cholesterol?

According to a study by one of the world’s leading cholesterol experts, Dr. Ronald Krauss, a low-fat diet changed healthy cholesterol profiles into heart attack-prone profiles with high triglycerides, low HDL, and small LDL particles.

As we have learned, it’s the type of fat you eat, not the quantity. The bad fats promote abnormal cholesterol levels, and the good fats improve the type and quantity of your cholesterol.

Plus, women NEED fats to produce cholesterol because cholesterol makes all of our hormones. If you are eating a low-fat diet, your hormones will suffer.

So pick up where you left off with fats in the 80’s or 90’s. You’ve been separated for way too long now.

Reunited and it feels so good,

Health Coach Jenna

 

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

Blog, Food Politics, Health & Wellness, Weight Loss

MILK. Does It Really Do the Body Good?

milkLet’s talk milk. Dairy is controversial and is the cause of many debates between health professionals. Some say dairy is healthy while others believe it should be avoided like the bubonic plague. The truth is, around 60% of the entire world is somewhat lactose intolerant, which means they can’t digest the milk protein, lactose.

If you are lactose intolerant and drinking cow’s milk, you could be experiencing symptoms such as bloating, gas, constipation, loose stools, and allergies that may lead to ear, nose and throat infections.

If your body can digest cow’s milk and you feel like it is the right fit for your body, by all means it’s your choice to stick with it. However, I encourage you to eliminate it from your diet for at least 10 days to see how your body feels without it. You might be surprised by the results.

I personally avoid dairy milk, as I feel lighter and more vibrant without it. I agree with Dr. Hyman when he says “cow’s milk is the perfect beverage…. for a baby cow”.

So what are my alternatives?

Switch to a dairy-free milk such as almond milk, coconut milk, hemp seed milk, or rice milk. I encourage you to pick one with no added sugars and to choose the organic version.

It’s also best to stay away from soy milk as it has high levels of phytoestrogens, which mimic the body’s natural estrogen hormones. For women, this can lead to estrogen dominance, which has been linked to infertility, menstrual problems, and cancer. For men, it can cause testosterone imbalances, low sperm count, and cancer.

Bottom line – soy is not healthy and its widespread use is destructive to the environment. *

But what about calcium?

Adults need 1,000 mg of calcium per and the fact that we need milk to get this daily dose is a myth created by clever ads to keep us buying milk products. In fact, according to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “Animal protein leaches calcium from the bones, leading to its excretion in the urine.” This means that when you consume cow’s milk it changes the pH level in the body and turns the blood acidic, notifying the body to neutralize the damaging acidic protein before it reaches the kidneys. The only way to neutralize it is by using our stored calcium, which is drawn from our bones, causing a reverse and undesirable effect.

In reality, the best and most efficient way to get calcium is from dark leafy greens, and foods such as almonds, salmon, black-eyed peas, white beans, seaweed, seseme seeds, and oranges. In addition, most dairy-free milks found in the store are fortified with calcium. However, if you are making your own dairy-free milk this will not be the case.

calcium

But what if I want to stick with cow’s milk?

If you would like to keep cow’s milk in your diet, then it’s crucial that you switch to organic. You should choose organic milk because it is free of synthetic hormones, antibiotics, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and GMOs. Studies have also shown that organic milk has higher levels of vitamin E, omega-3, antioxidants, and beta-carotene.

Non-organic milk contains harmful contaminants from antibiotics, growth hormones, and pesticides.  One of the most dangerous is the bovine growth hormone (rBGH). The bovine growth hormone is given to cows to make them produce milk faster to keep up with the increasing demands worldwide.

According to a study titled Monsanto’s Hormonal Milk Poses Serious Risks of Breast Cancer, Besides Other Cancers, “Drinking rBGH milk would thus be expected to significantly increase IGF-1 blood levels. And higher levels of IGF-1 are linked to several cancers.”

Cows that are injected with rBGH are more likely to form an infection called Mastitis, causing the cow to produce pus which ends up in your milk.

GROSS.

Even more disgusting is that in order to beat the infection, cows are given antibiotics, which also end up in your glass.

DOUBLE GROSS.

In addition, the cow feed used is most times genetically modified corn, creating a decrease in healthy Omega- 3 fatty acids, and an increase in Omega- 6 fatty acids.

Fat-free, low-fat, or full-fat?

If you are still set on drinking cow’s milk, it’s best to stay away from fat-free milk and choose either a full-fat or low- fat option. Healthy fats are our friends and they help keep us satiated, allow the body to absorb nutrients more efficiently, as well as promote brain health.

In the long run, it’s up to you to decide what is best for your body. I’m a big believer in bio-individuality, which means that each person has unique food and lifestyle needs. One person’s food could be another person’s poison, so it’s up to you to discover what works for you!

Cheers!

Health Coach Jenna

HealtherNotions_Logo_Stacked

*2-3 servings a week of FERMENTED soy (tempeh, tofu, miso) is okay if your body can digest soy. If you are suffering from an autoimmune disease or any sort of endocrine system balance, it is best to avoid all forms of soy.