Why a Juice Cleanse is Not the Answer

The new year is a great time because it inspires so many people to get healthy. Many of you might decide to kick off the new year with a juice cleanse. To be honest I’m not a big fan of juice cleanses as they’re very high in sugar. A few days might serve you but anything longer then that might not be the best option in supporting your weight loss and health goals.

I have clients who come to me wanting to try out different fad diets or expensive juice cleanses in the new year, and to be honest, I’m just not too thrilled about these at all. I like to pick a food plan based on the individual and their specific needs.

So what makes a successful new year health plan? One with the goal of DETOX.

But detoxing doesn’t just happen by doing a seven-day juice cleanse once a year. Sorry to let you down!

Why we have to detox:

If we aren’t properly detoxing on a daily basis by having 1-3 bowel movements a day (ideally at least 2), then excess estrogen builds up in the body creating a hormonal imbalance that leads to weight gain, painful periods, and if untreated manifests into even bigger health issues. Detoxing is important because it allows the body to cleanse of toxic metals or chemicals we are exposed to from our food, toiletries, plastic containers, etc. These metals and chemicals are stored in our fat, which is why losing extra fat is part of the process.

When it all boils down, the less fat you have, the fewer toxins.

But as I said earlier, following a juice cleanse once a year for one week is not going to do the trick. This is because there are two different detox pathways which need to be supported in order to cleanse. And a juice cleanse is only supporting one of them.

The Two Detox Phases:

Phase One:

In phase one, oxygen and enzymes oxidize toxins. Over 100 enzymes are involved, and the results are STILL toxic until flushed out by Phase Two of the detox phase.

This means that if you are only doing a juice cleanse, then all of those toxins are now even more toxic, and even worse, still hanging out in your body doing damage!

This is why it’s important to follow a plan that also supports Phase Two.

Phase Two:

The damaging chemicals from Phase One are now combined with sulfur, amino acids, plus organic acids to be excreted as bile. We get these elements (fiber being one of the key ingredients) from eating whole foods.

So what would an example of a Phase One and Two Detox Look like?

Day 1-3 PHASE ONE: If you are doing a juice cleanse, keep it short. I recommend 3 days max. Or even better yet, just do a simple fast that incorporates Bulletproof coffee , water and apple cider vinegar, and/or bone broth for the first 3 days. You can still have full-fat coconut milk, coconut oil, grass-fed butter or ghee in your tea or coffee. This will help keep you full.

Days 4-10 PHASE TWO: After your days of fasting, you will then begin to eat gentle, whole foods. Think plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, moderate protein, and lots of water. Nothing from a package, no sugar, and absolutely no alcohol or pain medicine (headaches are common during detoxes, but you just have to be strong). Notice I didn’t say you have to cut out caffeine! I’m a big fan of coffee, matcha, and green tea (if it’s organic and high quality) as they are full of polyphenols and antioxidants. But if you wish to cut out the caffeine then please do so! But if you are suffering from HPA Axis Dysfunction, it’s best to cut out caffeine entirely.

Methods to get better results from your detox:

1. Supplement with Glutathione or NAC.

2. Drink dandelion root tea (drink this everyday for 14 days) This will support your liver.

3. Take chlorella

4. Take epsom salt baths and/or sit in an infrared sauna to help draw out toxins.

5. Take one tablespoon of grass fed ghee or coconut oil in the morning, and two tablespoons of high quality olive oil before going to bed. This will help carry toxins out of the body.

And if you are looking for a cleanse program that is already planned out,  with all the products mailed to your home, and includes whole foods and my support, then I encourage you to sign up for my 20-Day Hormone Reboot Detox, or 40-Day Ultimate Nutrition Program.

xxxxx

Health Coach Jenna

Why You Should Stop Calorie Counting Today

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Have you ever followed a calorie restricting diet? I know I have, and chances are you have been through the grueling experience as well.

And even though the pounds fell off quickly, think about what happened when you got off the diet – did the pounds stay off for long?

They didn’t, did they?

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting great results after depriving yourself of food, only to have all of your hard work destroyed as soon as you start increasing your calories again.  This is why calorie restricting diets are a waste of your precious time, darling. Eating like this will only cause your weight to fluctuate (that’s why they call it “yo-yo dietiting”) and the practice is detrimental to your hormones, which means your mental and physical health will suffer immensely.

Yo-yo dieting is not a sustainable practice, and does not promote a balanced life. It’s pretty stinking miserable and unnecessary.

What’s wrong with calorie counting:

The “eat less move more” movement doesn’t work. It’s complete crap. 💩 The idea behind this theory that has been peddled in schools and by doctors across the country is that consuming fewer calories than are used will lead to lasting weight loss.

There are sooooooo many things wrong with this!

1. Not all calories are created equally. Some foods induce high blood sugar levels, other promote balanced levels. Think about the difference between a can of coke and two cups of broccoli which have roughly the same amount of calories. Should those really be put in the same category?

2. Reducing calories will slow down your metabolism, so when you quit that diet you’re on you’re going to gain it all back, even if you are only increasing your caloric intake minimally. Think about it- your body is pretty clever. It will adapt to homeostasis. If you maintain a reduced calorie diet your metabolism will quickly adapt by slowing down to match the reduced intake. So when you get off the diet, even just a little- guess what will happen? Yup, you’ll gain it back.

TRUTH —-> HIGH INSULIN BLOCKS FAT BURNING.

What your body needs to burn fat are these two things:

1.You must burn through most of your stored glycogen.

2. Your insulin levels must drop low enough to release fat stores.

And this doesn’t happen through caloric reduction. This happens by eating real, whole foods that contain healthy fats, moderate protein, and low or no carbs (the amount for each person is determined by individual tolerance, blood sugar levels, hormone levels, and specific needs, women for example do better with some carbs in their diet).

So ditch the diets, ditch the calorie restriction, and focus on eating real, unprocessed foods. Don’t worry about calories! Focus on quality!

So what are two things you can start doing today?

1. Cut out the C.R.A.P. (carbonated beverages, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and ingredients, and processed foods.

2. Focus on getting good quality healthy fats with each meal. Remember, cholesterol is responsible for producing all of your sex hormones, so without a diet rich in healthy fats, your hormones will suffer. You must nourish your hormones, because when you have balanced hormones your body will be able to maintain a healthy weight.

Once you implement a nutrient dense and plant based lifestyle of real, whole foods like this 40-Day Transformation from Purium, (use code “HEALTHIERNOTIONS” for $100 off) then you will discover you maintain a steady and healthy weight without the need for guilt-inducing diets.

Remember, diet is a greek word that means “way of life”.

Proud to be diet-free,

Health Coach Jenna

An Omnivore’s Guide to Clean Protein

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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  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

Cleansing Cucumber Juice

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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

 

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10 Reasons Why You Should Add Ghee to Your Diet

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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 or coffee (after my warm lemon water of course!), blended with one tablespoon of ghee, and a tablespoon of Brain Octane Oil. This keeps my metabolism revving,  my hormones nourished, 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 which is great news for those who suffer from painful periods or pelvic pain due to endometriosis or adenomyosis.

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

Bloated Blues Beet Juice

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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

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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.

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?

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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. 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?

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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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Tips for Staying Hydrated This Summer

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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

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Why You Should Switch to Whole Grains + Buying Guide

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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

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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

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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/