You might be laughing or totally turned off by the subject line of today’s post, but I assure you- you’ll want to read this one closely.
Nothing is TMI in my line of work.
Sometimes I start talking about poop even before I’m on a first name basis with people. It’s one of the hottest topics of conversations in ALL of my consultations and client sessions.
Maybe that sounds gross, but your poop has so much to say about what’s going on with your gut and your health. If you don’t have kids, just ask any parent out there about how they monitor their infants health and food tolerances by what’s left in their diapers 😛
It’s often not appropriate to talk about your bathroom habits, but what you might not be talking about could be giving you the best insight as to what’s going on with your health.
In 2011, the Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology reported that over $800 million dollars was spent per year on prescription laxatives. That doesn’t even count over-the-counter ones!
You shouldn’t have to pay to go poop.
It’s a born birthright. Do you think our neanderthal ancestors had this much trouble in the bathroom department? I don’t think so.
Never knowing when your next bowel movement will happen can leave you on edge all day- making you feel heavy, bloated and down right sick to your stomach.
And then I talk to some people who have every bathroom in the city mapped out because they never know when that sinking feeling is going to hit and they’ll have to make a run for it.
I’ve had clients who have lived with this fear and struggled for years until we started looking at what their poop is trying to say.
In this week’s video I talk more about what your poop might be trying to tell you and how to tell if your bowel movements are healthy or not.
1- Frequency. Everyone is different, but you should poop every day. Going 1-3 times a day is typically healthy and each day can be different. Poop is waste and helps to remove toxins, so you should be getting rid of it daily. If you find yourself going only a couple times a week, you’re probably constipated. And if you’re going 5+ times a day, you’re on the diarrhea side of things. Both could be a sign of serious health risks over the long term.
2- Time. It’s normal to decorate your bathroom with reading material but it’s not so normal for you to actually need something to read while you’re in there. Healthy pooping should only take a matter of a few minutes. You shouldn’t have to push or strain too much, but you also shouldn’t be running to the bathroom in fear of not being able to hold it in. Also, typical transit time from the point of eating to elimination should be around 12 hours. If you’re not sure what yours is, eat some red beets and wait for them to show up on the other side.
3- Presentation. There’s even a poop scale for this. The color, shape and smell can all be indicators of healthy poop or not. Color that is too dark or pale, and undigested food can be a sign of unhealthy poop. Anything that smells too fowl, has a film or mucous can also be an unhealthy indicator. In essence, it should resemble a brown snake-like shape and not have a very offensive odor. Check out the Bristol Stool Scale and Dr. Mercola’s charts here.
If one of these areas seems a little off to you, then it could mean there something disrupting your gut. Gut disruptors can indicate a wide range of things – parasites, bacteria, yeast, food intolerances, stress, emotions and even toxin exposure.
Irregularities lasting for long periods of time or that go in cycles could be a HUGE sign that something is festering in there and needs to be addressed.
Want to learn more about what your poo could be telling you and your gut health?
Then my upcoming Get Your Gut In Gear Group Program is just for you!
This program will give you the opportunity to take a deep dive look at your gut health using a simple functional at-home stool test. This test will help you identify what might be going on in your gut and the healing opportunities. From there, you’ll work with me as your guide in a small group (5-10 people) setting over the course of 3 months to get your gut back in gear and restore balance!
Enrollment for this program is going to open next week and space is limited to 10 people. If you want in on this, then get on the INTEREST LIST HERE to get first dibs at scoring a spot!
I wasn’t always a teeth grinder.
It was a new thing for me that popped up late last Spring. All of a sudden, one of the porcelain crowns that I had replaced the year before on my back lower molar started giving me trouble. It was super sensitive to cold and hot, and would ache for no reason occasionally.
Being the health boss that I am, I went in on a mission to find out what was causing this to happen.
Strike Out #1- I went to my then holistic dentist to see what she had to say. She did an exam but came back with no real answers. She couldn’t explain why my tooth was aching. Her solution, three rounds of ozone therapy to kill off any bacteria that could be causing it at $400 a pop! No thanks!!
If I was going to spend that kind of money on my health, I at least needed an explanation.
Strike Out #2- I then went to see my old traditional dentist who had originally replaced the crown to see if they had messed something up. I was even less impressed with the answers I got there. They couldn’t figure it out either so a root canal was suggested.
Yeah freaking right was I going to do a semi-invasive procedure when I couldn’t even get a real explanation as to why I should!
I had to be my own health advocate, so the search for answers continued.
It was time for a 3rd opinion. I found a new holistic dentist that a friend had seen and had great results with. The appointment was booked and I was pleasantly surprised with his extremely thorough evaluation and recommendations.
He concluded that I was aggravating the root of the tooth because of clenching or grinding my teeth at night. He asked me all about my eating habits, lifestyle and stress (like a good dentist should!) and attributed it to stress and convinced me to buy a $500 night guard to alleviate the pressure on the root of my tooth.
The night guard helped a bit, but you won’t believe what I found out later about what was really causing me to grind and clench in the first place!
In this week’s video I talk more about what was really causing my tooth pain and how I was able to cure it in 2 months after I figured it all out.
At the same time as this nagging tooth issue, I had also recently discovered that I was dealing with some unwelcome guests in my gut. I had recently run an annual stool sample test on myself and to my surprise I had not only a parasite, nasty but common Blastocystis Hominis, but also some Candida overgrowth.
Something made me wonder if these gut invaders could be contributing to my tooth aches in some way since I knew that Candida can affect the environment of the mouth.
I did some research and in less than 2.5 seconds found my answer!
One of the symptoms of having a parasite like Blasto is teeth grinding (bruxism)! Those damn bugs where the root cause of all my pain. I went on a mission to eradicate them and in less that 2 months of starting an anti parasite herbal supplement protocol, I was pain free!
And now here I am, almost a year later and I can call myself a recovered teeth grinder. I haven’t used that night guard in well over a year. Once I got rid of the Blasto, I was pain and suffering free! No more teeth grinding for me 🙂
Bugs like Blasto and other types of bacteria and and yeast overgrowth such as Candida can cause all kinds of symptoms that seem far removed from the gut. Here are some other signs that these invaders might be inhabiting your gut:
- Depression, anxiety, irritability
- Strong cravings for processed and sugary foods
- Hives, rashes, eczema, itchy dermatitis, acne, ulcers, sores, lesions, etc.
- Recurring yeast infections like Candida
- Bleeding gums, teeth grinding and drooling during sleep
- Food allergies/food sensitivities, loss of appetite and/or hungry all the time
- Sexual dysfunction in men/menstrual cycle problems in women
- Chronic fatigue/constantly tired
- Persistent digestive problems (cramps, bloating, gas, etc.)
- Sore/stiff joints
- Itching – especially around mouth, nose and anus
If you think you might be suffering from some unwelcome gut guests then you’ll want to check out my upcoming FREE webinar on April 6th at 6pm PT/ 9pm ET-The Gut, Mind, Body Connection: Decoding The Signs And Signals Your Gut is Sending About Your Health And Wellbeing – where I dive into even more detail about the about what might be going on in your gut!
And for registering for the webinar you’ll get my FREE DECODE YOUR GUT GUIDE so you can begin investigating what might be causing some of your nagging aches, pains and ailments.
REGISTER & GET YOUR BONUS FOR THE WEBINAR HERE
You might think this is a little superstitious, but there is something real about how the full moon impacts people, animals and the things around us.
You can call me crazy but just hang in here with me for a minute…
Have you ever noticed with yourself or others that there seems to be something cyclical when it comes to being moody and irritable, and I’m not talking about PMS. A fluctuation in mood that only lasts for a few days for some reason and is unexplainable.
Or what about sleep disturbances- going through periods of time when you have trouble falling asleep or tossing and turning that only last for a few days or a week at a time?
How about your digestion? Do you experience phases of really great bowel movements and then all of a sudden they seem to go on the fritz?
And then there’s stuff such as skin rashes or breakouts, teeth grinding, and joint aches and pains. Do those come and go too every few weeks?
Looking back now, were any of these things, or other ailments that you might suffer from worse this past week or so leading up to the full moon that we had last night?
It’s not a coincidence, it’s science.
In this week’s video I talk more about the scientific connection with the full moon cycles, your gut and what to be on the lookout for.
But PARASITES are likely the real thing driving you crazy or causing suffering during a full moon.
The gravitational pull on water balance in the kidneys causes a shift of movement or an “awakening”, making these little buggers more active during the full moon cycle, wreaking havoc on your gut, digestion and hormone balance. Overgrowth of gut bacteria and/or yeast can also have similar effects during a full moon.
Textbook symptoms of parasites include; bloating, fatigue, flu like symptoms, low immune function (get sick or allergies often), excessive hunger, constipation, diarrhea, grinding teeth especially at night, hives, irritability, rashes, sleep disturbances, changes in weight, joint pain, headaches, gas, and bloating.
The most common parasites in my health coaching practice is Blastocystis Hominis.
Blasto can be persistent and likes to hang out with another gut offender, H. Pylori. And H. Pylori’s classic symptoms include; heartburn/acid reflux, ulcers, migraines and mid-back pain. But there are a bunch of different species that could be disrupting you. We come across them all the time, and if the gut is already compromised, they move in and take over.
So here’s what I want you to do.
Now that the full moon has officially risen and we’re moving into a new moon cycle I want you to jot down any symptoms, aches, pains, ailments or health complaints that you’ve been experiencing this past week.
Then you’ll start tracking the progress of those things. You’re looking to see if they improve and/or go away in the coming weeks, especially leading up to the new moon on April 7th when these gut infestations are most dormant.
If you think you have a gut bug now or after tracking this then you can set up a FREE Ideal Health & Weight Discovery Session with me to chat about the right plan of attack for you.
P.S. If you want to learn more about gut bugs and all things gut related then mark your calendar for April 6th at 6pm PT/ 9pm ET and register for my FREE webinar here where I dive into more details on this stuff!
2,100,000 is the number of toxins you have the potential to come in contact with DAILY.
- 230,000 Toxins from Radiation (x-rays, cell phones, computers, hair dryers)
- 130,000 Toxins from Heavy Metals (cookware, toothpaste, deodorant, cosmetics)
- 200,000 Toxins from Physical & Emotional Stress (depression, anxiety, fear, stress)
- 525,000 Toxins from Microbes (Parasites, bacteria, yeast, worms, viruses)
- 180,000 Toxins from Prescription Drugs (vaccines, fillers, binders)
- 160,000 Toxins from Beverages (coffee, alcohol, soda)
- 325,000 Toxins from Food (soy, white flour, pesticides)
- 150,000 Toxins from Water
- 200,000 Toxins from Air
How scary and absurd is that?
More and more researchers are becoming convinced that these chemical exposures contribute to obesity, endometriosis, diabetes, autism, allergies, cancer and other diseases.
Studies have found that women with higher levels of the chemicals in their bodies experience menopause two to four years earlier than women with lower levels.
Some of the chemicals that are all around us have the ability to interfere with our endocrine systems, which regulate the hormones that control our weight, our biorhythms and our reproduction.
Simply said, toxins impact weight loss/gain, energy, hormones, and much more.
The average female in the U.S. uses 12 personal care products and/or cosmetics a day, containing 168 different chemicals, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Most men use fewer products, but they’re still exposed to about 85 chemicals daily.
The four key players of the body that remove toxins are the liver, lymph system, digestive system, and cellular waste disposal.
The rate of toxin removal is different for everyone based upon how well these four key players are functioning. Even if you could remove 1 million toxins in 24 hours, that would barely put a dent in what you come in contact with daily.
This is exactly why it is SO important to control what you can when it comes to toxins.
In this week’s video I talk about more about daily toxins that you encounter and the 3 simplest, most effective ways to reduce your controllable toxin exposure.
The 3 simplest, most effective ways to reduce your controllable toxin exposure are:
- Eating organic foods of all kinds
- Drinking spring or filtered water
- Using biodegradable personal care and household products
To avoid a backup in your detoxification systems, it’s important to take a break occasionally and flush out toxic waste buildup from the less controllable factors, such as your computer and cell phone (we have to work, right?), microbes and prescriptions.
This is exactly why I’m starting my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge next week- to help health-mind people like you and me flush out all that toxic build up, and to get our detoxification systems running optimally so we can reap the benefits of weight loss, energy, hormone balance and much more!
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SIGN UP! GET ALL THE DETAILS AND YOUR SPOT HERE.
The most awesome part about my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge is that it doesn’t take much time or effort at all. Using foods, exercise, sleep, water and some easy-to-do home remedies, we’ll be tapping into the body’s natural abilities and taking the four key detoxification players from the minors to the major leagues.
Are you game?
Ask yourself what have you got to lose? Nothing but a bunch of weight, energy and hormone disrupting toxins.
The deadline to register for the challenge is tonight at 11:59pm PST.
P.S. Just think of all the things you stand to gain from the challenge (weight loss, energy, a better immune system to fight off this season’s allergies, etc.) AND I’m giving away FREE personal training and health coaching to the winners, plus weekly prizes!
P.P.S. Today is the last day for early enrollment and to save $20 for my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge! Wondering what my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge can do for you? Then shoot me an email with your questions and I’ll be happy to answer them! See what past participants have to say…
“The challenge has been great! I’ve been super happy with how it’s been going. I’m down 6 lbs. and I definitely feel better and slimmer!”- Jessica W.
“My energy is up and my stomach is feeling so much better! I feel great overall and my clothes are fitting good again.”- Christy J.
Have you been caught up in the juicing and smoothie craze lately? Seems like all I see on Facebook and Instagram are pictures of everyone’s latest favorite homemade smoothie or fancy juice from the new juice bar in town.
But did you know that juicing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?
I commonly get questions about the benefits of juicing from friends, family, clients and potential clients… basically just about everyone.
And to be honest I’m not the biggest fan of juicing or smoothies IF they’re not done properly. Juicing and smoothies do have a proper place in your health regimen, but only if you use them correctly.
In this week’s video I talk about why juicing doesn’t work and what you should be doing instead. And here’s the link to last week’s Facts & Myths About Cleansing webinar replay where I touch on juicing even more and what you should be doing instead.
Here’s the Top 3 Reasons Why Juicing Doesn’t Work and what you should be on the lookout for to make sure you get the most out of your juice or smoothie…
#1-Juice Lacks Protein
This is the biggest problem I see with juicing, ESPECIALLY if you’re using it to detox or cleanse your body. There are 3 phases your body goes through to detox and get rid of toxins, and proteins are essential in order for phase 2 to happen. If you aren’t getting enough protein your body can’t use the detoxifying nutrients in juice adequately. To get the full benefits of juicing make sure you get in some protein.
#2- Not All Juices Are Created Equal
If you’re going to juice you better do it organically otherwise it’s just not worth it. Think of it this way, would you drink dirty water? Probably not, so why would you drink non-organic juice contaminated with pesticides and toxins? Not all juice bars, and certainly not all juices found in the grocery stores, are organic. I have found a LOT of juice bars that don’t even offer organic as an option, or you have to ask and pay a premium for it (well worth it!). And store bought pre-made juices, even the organic ones, can contain all kinds of preservatives. Drinking non-organic juice defeats the purpose and exposes you to more toxins. Go for fresh and organic or pass it up.
#3- Loss of Nutrients
Ever notice how if you cut a piece of fruit and save the rest for later it almost immediately starts to turn brown? This is called oxidation, when the cells begin to become damaged and die off, losing their nutrient value. The same happens to juices if they are not consumed right away. So that $15 juice you bought that was juiced yesterday now has less nutrient value than you think. Warm pressed juices lose their nutrient value within a few hours (commonly the pre-packaged store bought kind) and cold press juices maintain their value up to 48-72 hours. So if you’re receiving your juices ahead of time for a 3-5 day cleanse then by the time you drink them they have lost most of their cleansing properties and value. Make sure your juice is made on the spot or pick it up pre-bottled early in the morning and drink it ASAP.
And don’t even get me started on the sugar content in store bought juices! These are just a few reasons why I decided to start my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge(enrollment now open!)- to teach health-minded people like you how to Cleanse Your Body Naturally and Right! To bust myths about things like juice cleansing and to show you simple and effective ways to rid your body of toxins so you can have more energy, lose weight, and boost your immune system and health.
If you want to learn a simple and effective system for cleansing your body then you need to check out my Cleanse challenge. Or, if you want more energy, weight loss, to get rid of belly bloat and a stronger immune system then you also need to check out my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge here. (Today is the last day of early bird enrollment, save $20!)
It’s a no brainer, over 4 weeks I’ll be teaching you this simple and effective system for cleansing your body and you get all the benefits!
P.S. Today is the last day for early enrollment and to save $20 for my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge! Wondering what my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge can do for you? Then shoot me an email with your questions and I’ll be happy to answer them! See what past participants have to say…
“The challenge has been great! I’ve been super happy with how it’s been going. I’m down 6 lbs and I definitely feel better and slimmer!”- Jessica W.
“My energy is up and my stomach is feeling so much better! I feel great overall and my clothes are fitting good again.”- Christy J.
Who knew you could poison yourself with something like Splenda, right? This allegedly ‘safe’ sweetener changed my whole outlook on what I thought was healthy at the time.
It was the summer of 2009 and I was training for my second fitness competition. This time I was trying a carb cycling diet to get really lean- three days of eating less than 60 grams of carbs and then one day of loading with 130 grams of carbs.
Needless to say, my sweet cravings were insane. I used to have a major sweet tooth. I still love my sweets now, but back then my whole life revolved around them.
So in order to satisfy my cravings I started adding Splenda to everything- oatmeal, yogurt with berries, smoothies, baked goods, etc.
At the time I was also suffering from some major joint aches and pains, especially in my left hip down to my knee. I thought it was just from the extreme training I was doing for the show and from being a runner. All runners get hip and knee pain! It’s normal, right? Wrong!
After weeks of pain and trying everything from chiropractic to acupuncture, massage and foam rolling I was at my wits’ end! I was even spending the last 10 minutes of each expensive session with my personal trainer for assisted stretching and nothing was working.
Finally, one day after complaining to my trainer about the pain for so long he mentioned an article that he had just read about something called Splenda poisoning and how my symptoms were very similar.
I googled it right away and found I had been poisoning myself with Splenda!
Turns out there were hundreds of other athletes, runners and everyday people out there posting on blogs and other sites about how they had been experiencing the same thing as me. So I immediately stopped using Splenda and within a matter of days my pain was completely gone!
In this week’s video I tell more of my Splenda poisoning story, how it changed my outlook on the meaning of ‘healthy’ and what to do about toxins like this in your food.
This made me question what is ‘healthy food’ really?
Healthy food is real, natural food from the earth, not something manufactured to be fat free or low calorie.
It also made me question what other chemicals was I being exposed to that could be contributing to health issues I was experiencing like my worsening allergies and struggle with weight.
In a recent article in The New York Times, it’s pointed out that we’re exposed to hundreds of toxins on a daily basis, most of which are completely invisible.
“Scientists have identified more than 200 industrial chemicals from pesticides, flame retardants, jet fuel, and neurotoxins like lead in the blood or breast milk of Americans, and in people all over the planet. These have been linked to issues like cancer, genital deformities, lower sperm count and obesity.”
I’ve personally been affected by these toxins and so have you. This is why I’m on a mission teach more people how to take back control of their health and weight by cleansing the body naturally.
Early bird registration is now open for my Seasonal Cleanse Challenge!
In the Seasonal Cleanse Challenge you’ll learn how to use foods and simple DIY cleansing techniques to rid your body of toxins that have built up over the years which are taking a toll on your energy, weight and overall health. There’s no gimmicks, requirements for juicing or deprivation in this cleanse. If you’re worried about the timing of it or how much effort you’ll have to put in, it’s personalized to meet you where you’re at, and you’ll still get great results!
You’ll see how easy it can be to cleanse your body naturally once you see what past participants have had to say here.
P.S. If you or a loved one have been feeling frustrated with your energy, weight or health then the Seasonal Cleanse is a good tool to get you started. You will be supported to sort through the various pieces of the puzzle that might be stopping you or holding you back from realizing your full potential.
How many calories do you think you’ve counted in your lifetime? We’ve been taught for so long that the formula to weight loss, and even health, is to manage calories-in versus calories-out, to be consuming less and burning more. But what if I told you that was a BIG FAT LIE?
This might come as a shock to you or sound absurd, so I’m going to ask you to keep an open mind and to carefully contemplate the facts I’m about to put on the table…
Fact #1- You actually aren’t consuming as many calories as you think.
A recent study at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center found that “our bodies sometimes extract fewer calories than the number listed on the label. Participants in their studies absorbed around a third fewer calories from almonds than the modified Atwater values suggest. For walnuts, the difference was 21 percent.” (Read more on the study here.)
Wouldn’t we all be losing weight all the time if we were chronically under-absorbing calories in comparison to what we thought we were eating and burning?
Back in my days of calorie counting I targeted an intake of 15-1800 calories and was burning about 24-2600 (according to my old Bodybugg). With this new research that means I was actually absorbing less calories, putting me in even more of a deficit, yet I struggled to lose weight.
Fact #2- One pound of fat is not 3,500 calories.
This is what we’ve been told forever! To lose one pound a week you need to be in a deficit of 500 calories a day which equals 3,500 calories in a week, and voila you’re supposed to lose one pound.
Researcher Zoe Harcombe so eloquently debunks this myth. In her research she shows that one pound of fat actually does not equal 3,500 calories, but in fact it could be anywhere from 2,843 to 3,752 calories. (See Zoe’s full breakdown here.)
Frustration sets in again. If one pound of fat could be less than 3,500 calories then why are people still struggling to lose weight if they are restricting calorie intake and working out more?
Fact #3- We are not a closed system.
The weight loss formula of calories-in versus calories-out is said to be based to the first law of thermodynamics- energy is neither destroyed nor created, it’s simply transformed- the energy of a calorie is transformed as you work out and burned off in the form of heat.
Here’s the flaw, this law only applies to closed systems where there are no outlets. And as Sean Croxton says in his book The Dark Side of Fat Loss “The human body seems pretty damn open to me. It pees, poops, and sweats into the environment.” (Check out his book here.)
Don’t worry, I felt lied to also when I came across these facts. I majored in fitness, nutrition and health, and counting calories was the cornerstone of all my studies. This is what lead me to do my own research and what I found was…
You have to get healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to get healthy.
In this week’s video I go into more details about these calorie counting facts and explain what’s really going on with weight loss and your health.
Bottom line is that our body is a complex system and all parts need to be firing correctly in order for it to be in a healthy place to allow weight loss to happen.
The most overlooked piece of the puzzle when it comes to weight loss, and frustration over calorie counting, is the detoxification system. When it gets jammed up and clogged, it becomes overloaded and puts the breaks on weight loss.
This is why showing your liver some love and cleansing the body of toxins regularly is SO important. Not only does it promote weight loss but it also helps with energy, brain fog, sleep, hormones and so much more!
This is why I’m hosting an upcoming call on March 1st at 6pm PST all about Facts & Myths About Cleansing: How To Boost Energy and Reduce Belly Bloat Without Deprivation.
My personal mission is to stop the frustration and teach more people how to take back control of their health and weight by cleansing the body naturally.
If you’re tired of having low energy, are over counting calories without results, and want to get rid of belly bloat for good then you need to be on this call! Register for the call here!
Yes, I am encouraging you to eat chocolate.
It’s for your own good, your sanity, and your health. I might be a health nut but I also believe in balance and food freedom, deprivation only leads to self-destruction.
I LOVE chocolate. I say there are two types of people in the world, those who like chocolate and those who prefer fruity sweets like gummy bears and sour worms. In my household we have one of each. I’m a chocolate bar girl and my husband is a gummy bear guy. Fortunately for me, chocolate is the healthier choice and my husband has found a “healthier” version of gummy bears at our local health food store.
Not all chocolate is created equal.
The majority of chocolate choices are grossly unhealthy for you. Your typical candy bar is loaded with mostly sugar, artificial flavors, soy and hydrogenated oils. The food industry has turned a once good-for-you-food into a piece of junk. But if you go down the unbeaten path (the organic aisle in the grocery store) then you’ll likely find a delightful piece of HEALTHY chocolate that can actually deliver nutrients and all other kinds of goodness to your body.
What qualifies as “healthy” chocolate?
Eating the raw version of chocolate, cacao, for its health benefits can be traced back thousands of years, all the way back to Ancient Mayan times. When chocolate is eaten in it’s most organic and raw form it contains essential minerals (magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, etc.), B Vitamins, and antioxidants like Vitamin E. Besides being packed with nutrients, research has shown that dark chocolate can also…
- Provide flavonoids to improve circulation and lower blood pressure
- Elevate serotonin in the brain to fend off depression and make you feel good
- Lower the stress hormone, cortisol
- Cacao is also made up of essential fats (similar to those found in avocados and olives) that support our wellbeing, this is part of the comfort and soothing effect that you get when you eat dark chocolate
To get the most benefits out of your chocolate choose 80% cacao or higher.
Some might think 80% cacao chocolate is too bitter, for me it’s just perfect. It’s so rich that just one or two squares makes me content and keeps me from eating the whole bar. If that’s not to your liking then shoot for at least 70% or higher.
The fewer ingredients listed the better. You want to look for USDA organic dark chocolate, and preferably one that also is verified as non-GMO. My personal favorite brand is Theo (http://astore.amazon.com/mytravelfit-20/detail/B004HHEBD4 ), it is 85% dark chocolate, certified organic and only has 4 ingredients (cocoa beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla bean).
When working with clients to cut out sugars and dairy to help them heal from the inside out, dark chocolate is my go-to recommendation for them to add a little sweetness and satisfaction in their life. It’s a guilty pleasure that you don’t have to feel guilty about!
A piece of dark chocolate a day can keep the doctor away!
In Health –
Shop and Eat Smarter
According to the UDSA the U.S. spends MUCH less on food than most other countries. In 2012 the U.S spent only 6.6% of household incomes on food, the next lowest country was the U.K. at 9.1% and out of 21 countries the highest was Pakistan at 47.7%.
So what’s contributing to this decline? The mass production of conventional food, which is driving prices lower, and the overall rise in income. So wait, we’re making more money but still cutting back our expenses on food?
Even with this low statistic most people will argue that buying organic is TOO expensive. Yet our spending on food relative to our incomes has been declining since 1960 when it was at 17.5%.
The saddest part about all of these statistics is that the quality of our food has also declined. Not only is food mass produced for low prices but the amount of nutrients in our food has decreased drastically, and let’s be frank the taste of a burger out of a box doesn’t even compare to a fresh homemade one.
I don’t know about you but I prefer to be food balling on a budget…
I am a foodie at heart. I LOVE a good steak, things drenched in truffle oil, and crispy brussel sprouts. I long for crisp fruits and vegetables and seek out farm to table restaurants for the freshest in season items. When I first start working with clients and share my love for exotic, authentic and fresh foods they often reply with “I can’t afford that”. That is until they too learn how to be food balling on a budget.
TravelFit coaching paradigm #2- You only know what you know until you know something else.
Eating organic is one of the key essentials for improved or long lasting good health and weight loss. Just like any other item that you would purchase, don’t you want to get the most value out of it? With organic foods you reduce your exposure to toxins, thus improving your digestibility AND organic foods are higher in all kinds of minerals, nutrients and vitamins.
Here are my top 4 tips for becoming a food baller on a budget:
Shop and Eat Seasonally. Growing foods out of season drives up the cost in order to recreate the normal seasonal conditions they usually grow in. When a food is in its natural season during certain times of the year you’ll find it at a bargain rate. Your body actually wants to eat seasonally too; this is why you’ll find yourself craving fruits and salads in the summer or root vegetables and meats in the winter. You need different nutrients during different times of the year.
Buy In Bulk. When I find a good deal I make sure to take full advantage of it and you just might find me lugging around 20 pounds of organic grass fed ground beef when it goes on sale at Whole Foods. Once I get home I portion out my purchase and freeze it. You can do the same thing with fruits and veggies when they are on sale seasonally, simply freeze them to keep them from going bad. Fresh frozen foods can last anywhere from 2-12 months.
Rethink Your Priorities. According to a recent survey of American workers by Accounting Principals, those who buy coffee weekly spend an average of $1,092 per year, that’s 182 cartons of organic free-range eggs (average $6/dozen), that’s 3.5 dozen eggs per week! And those $120 pair of LuLulemon pants could get you 51 lbs of organic apples (average $2.34/lb). Ask yourself what’s more important? The quality of your food, health, and natural energy or that latte or those pants that you want to make you look skinny when you really could be skinny.
Shop Smarter. One of my favorite shopping tools is EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list that prioritizes what foods are most important to buy organically due to high toxin exposure (“dirty” list) and which ones are the cleanest and most ok to buy not organic if you’re on a budget. This helps you to get the most nutrient bang for your buck.
Depriving yourself of the finest foods in life is a sure fire way to find yourself feeling deprived. When you eat foods high in quality and nutrients you’ll feel more energized and satisfied. Invest in yourself and eat responsibly!
In Health –
What’s the Deal with Dairy?
Do you sometimes find yourself feeling depressed or unmotivated? How about running to the bathroom at the most inconvenient times or multiple times a day? Have you ever wondered why in the heck you have a pimple past the age of 18?
It’s highly likely that dairy has you in the dumps if you answered yes to any of these questions.
Logically if you think about it, why are humans the ONLY mammals that continue to consume milk (and it’s products) past our infant years. Even calves stop drinking milk after a few months.
Granted mammals, including us, are born to drink milk but only up until a certain point. When we are born our bodies produce an enzyme called lactase that is specifically designed to break down the lactose that is found in milk.
Everyone has heard of “lactose intolerance” and here is the big reason why it’s so prevalent and why everyone has it…
Humans stop producing the enzyme lactase usually after weaning off their mother’s breast milk and indefinitely around the age of 5-7. So to some degree we are all “lactose intolerant” if we don’t have this enzyme anymore.
Another reason why dairy might have you in the dumps is because of a protein found in it called Casein. This protein is at the top of the food allergy and sensitivities list. The most casein rich foods are Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, protein powders, and most cheeses.
Because of lactose and casein, digesting dairy products is extremely harsh on the gut. During the digestive process it damages the intestinal lining, causes leaky gut and allowing toxins into the bloodstream.
This is why you might find yourself feeling depressed, unmotivated, running to the bathroom and popping zits still after the age of 18. Food reactions show up in all different kinds of ways, not just digestive, and can present themselves up to 8 DAYS after consumption.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my cheese and a little wine with it too. So how do I keep dairy from giving me the dumps?
Go For Goats.
The level of casein in goat’s milk it about 90% less than cow’s milk making it more digestible and less harmful to the digestive system. There are a wide variety of goat milk products and cheeses at most grocery stores.
The Cream Is In The Coconut.
This is my #1 favorite alternative to any milk or cream product. Coconut milk is loaded with nutrients and natural anti-bacterials, more than almond milk. Replace your coffee creamer with canned full fat coconut milk and you’ll hardly know the difference. I’m also a big fan of coconut butter!
Abide By The 90/10 Rule.
Of course there will be special occasions to dip into the milky way but if you only do it 10% of the time then you are naturally reducing the damage it can have on your gut. When you do it all the time or every day, the damage compiles and your gut can’t heal.
If you’ve been a chronic dairy consumer for years then you may need some deeper healing therapies than just minimizing dairy intake. Remember that digestive dysfunction can present itself in many ways (anxiety, depression, skin breakouts/rashes, low energy, allergies etc.) and the deeper the damage the more symptoms will appear.
Don’t let dairy get you in the dumps, leave the milk to the cows 😉
In Health –