Nutrition

Plantains (are magic)

Plantains (are magic)

Plantains are amazing. This is something I have known for a LONG TIME, but even knowing this true fact - I NEVER PURCHASED A PLANTAIN MYSELF.

I finally did and I cannot believe it took me so long. They are delicious and easy to prepare. Which is why friends I encourage you - no - I challenge you - to buy your very own plantain this week and cook it... see what happens.
 

You. Food. And Worth.

I am good. I am bad. 

One of the first things I do with a new client is a food journal review. The same statements come up again and again:

“I was really bad on this day"
“I was having a major cheat day"
“Oh, this is what it looks like when I am really good"

And so on.
These lines are said with a laugh, but words are powerful. And these words - that declare a person good or bad - have deep roots and jagged edges.

It breaks my heart.

You are not good or bad based on what you eat. You are just making choices.

Some are more nourishing than others, but it is all a spectrum.

I can relate. I get where it comes from and have been guilty of it myself. Which is why I know how powerful it is to change the narrative.

You can start by looking at your motives - why are you trying to eat healthy? To look good naked, to play with your kids, to avoid disease?

Whatever the motive - the common thread is to gain something in life that makes you feel better.

The words you consume can be more deleterious than the food you eat. They can have more of an impact on your body. The relationship you have with yourself and your food matters.

And it is important to know that no matter what you have eaten today you have value as you are right now. 


We are overfed and undernourished

I really can't say it enough

Your entire body runs on nutrients.

Each cell runs on nutrients. 

The cells are surrounded by a bilipid layer aka two layers made up of fat. Fat that you need to consume because it is an essential nutrient (high quality fat that is). 

Each of those cells make up tissues and the tissues make up organs. Which is all made possible by the nutrients you consume. 

Those organs they make up systems. Your digestive system, your skeletal system, endocrine system, immune system, and so on. All of this is made possible BECAUSE OF NUTRIENTS.

Now those systems, in combination, make up us - the organism. And guess what? We. Run. On. Nutrients.

Which we get through what we consume and MORE IMPORTANTLY what we absorb

Let that sit with you.

This is why I preach whole food, high quality, nutrient dense. It is the best fuel to run your body.

Vegetables, grass-fed/humanely sourced meat, eggs, good quality fat. I am even cool with grains, beans, and nuts that have been properly prepared aka soaked or sprouted or fermented.

It is worth noting when solving for nutrient density and what the body actually absorbs well - grains are not the best choice. Organ meats and herbs, however, they stack high up there!

You need decent nutrition to run your body. 

And water, you need that too.

4 Reasons Why I Don't Love A Salad

When people think "health food" they often think SALAD!

You see it all the time. It is what is popularized in sitcoms, commercials, movies, and more. I still remember seeing the Stephen King movie "IT" and one of the main protagonists was chubby as a child. The adult version of him is slim. Everyone was like "WHAT IS YOUR SECRET"??? and his answer "SALAD" (and working out, but mostly SALAD). That has stuck with me for, what, twenty years now? 

The idea that SALADS are health food is pretty deeply ingrained. 

 

 

And to be clear I am not saying that they aren't healthy, but what I am saying is that they are not always the most supportive food. 

So let's break it down into 4 reasons I don't love a salad:

REASON #1 - DIGESTION

We live in a world of compromised digestion. Most people have issues in their upper and lower GI. Issues like gas, bloating, acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation, distension, belching, and so on. When digestion isn't up to snuff eating raw vegetables can be super tough. It takes a lot of work to break down the outer barrier of a plant i.e. the cellulose. Which needs to happen to extract all the lovely nutrients (aka vitamins and minerals) inside. Raw veggies can irritate rather than support the gut.

A good alternative is cooked vegetables. You can do stews, roasted veggies, lightly steamed, pan fried, slow cooked roasts with vegetables, and even juicing (at times). There are a TON of other ways to get the nutrition in without aggravating your digestive tract.

REASON #2 - SATIETY

Now, this depends on the salad. If you have a salad with a ton of chicken or if it is a steak salad - you may not face this problem. However if your meal is JUST A SALAD and it is mostly leafy goodness reaching a point of satiation can be elusive. You might reach it in the moment, but how soon after are you craving something again? When a salad is just leaves and a few vegetables - you aren't getting a lot of fuel in and it is natural to crave something shortly after. 

REASON #3 - HIDDEN SUGAR & BAD OIL

This is really a question about dressing and the quality of the dressing. A lot, a lot, a lot, of dressings contain a crap ton of sugar. And a lot, a lot, a lot, of dressings - even good organic dressings - use highly processed canola or vegetable oil which is awful for the body. These fats are damaged which causes inflammation in the body and the creation of free radicals (which we do not love). Why are they damaged? The high heat process used to create these oils is the problem. Fats are unstable, exposing them to high heats and then putting them on a store shelf (in a clear plastic bottle) is a sure fire way to get crappy quality oil. And bad fat is just a bucket full of harm. 

REASON #4 - NUTRIENT DENSITY

This again depends on the type of salad. There are a lot of fantastic salads out there, but there are also a ton of really bare bone, not so awesome salads. Pay attention to what is in the salad. Is it iceberg lettuce or mixed greens? Are there organic, locally grown, in season vegetables or off-season, bulk bought, commercially grown vegetables? It matters. 

CONCLUSION 

Salads CAN be a great option, especially if your gut health is optimal, but really be mindful of what is in the salad. 

Just because it is a salad, doesn't make it health food. 

But if you are going to eat salad, here is one I love and endorse: http://www.brainbodygut.com/blog/2014/11/28/rainbow-kale-salad-with-a-peppery-kick-recipe

 

Tidbit Tuesday | Absorption & Digestion aka CHEW yo' food! [Video]

Digestion is SUPER important, but we so often overlook it. Here is yet another reminder to chew (your food).

You guys! Chew. Chew. Chew. Because - you are what you absorb. AND Absorption, it starts in your mouth :D

Before and after

We love a before and after shot.

  When searching stock photos for before and after this is what I found, I happen to think both ladies are lovely. 

When searching stock photos for before and after this is what I found, I happen to think both ladies are lovely. 

Shoot, I love a before and after shot. Who doesn't?

It gives us hope.

It gives us a feeling that change is possible.

That hard work nets results.

That (potentially) we've been doing it wrong and if we just fix this one thing we can change.

If we have more discipline. If we really really focus this time.

Then we too can be like Sally Smith from Sunport and drop 5 sizes in in 5 months.

Or we too can go from couch potato to killing it at marathons in 2 months.  

Or we too can go from just an average joe to RIPPED SUPER HERO STATUS. 

We love a makeover. 

The problem is these are just moments. There is SO MUCH MORE to the story. The fits and starts. The forward progress and backfire.

The after that goes back to the before. 

An image can be deceiving. 

What I am trying to say is that the journey to health, happiness, and strength is complex. It isn't a straight line up and to the right. There isn't always a moment where the "pounds melt off" or where you suddenly feel strong and powerful all the time. There are bright moments and there is a trajectory, but there are a lot of bumps and backslides. 

Sometimes we need to believe in the ease of a before and after to START.

But, don't let the before and after seduce you into feeling like a failure when the journey gets tough, when you have a bad day, or week, or month.  

Keep going forward.

Start and keep starting.

The road may be more muddled than expected, but moving forward is the way you will succeed. 

How to unlock the jaws of a sugar craving?

Eat protein. 

It is a pretty simple test, but does require prep.

First, you have to have protein with you.

I'd like you to have animal protein. The kind you have to chew (ie no shakes). 

Eggs, chicken, steak, pork.

The less processed the better. 

The test:

When you hear the cries for skittles (WE NEEEEDS THEM)...

...or a pastry (PUHLEEASE)

...or a donut (I MUST)

...or even dried fruit (BUT I AM TRYING TO AVOID THE DONUT!!)

1. Eat 2, 4, 6 ounces of your protein option first -

2. Wait 20 minutes (set a timer if you need to) and see - do you still really want the sugary delight? 

If the answer is YES? Well, ok.

If NO. Excellent!!! You are rewiring your brain! Let's celebrate with a self hi-five! 

Rinse. Repeat.

 

A New Beginning

When do you start?

Do you wait until there is a special day? Until a new month? A new year? Until tomorrow?

Do you wait until your birthday?

Until after the 4th of July?

Until after your friend's 30th birthday bash?

Or do you start now?

There are things in life you want. 

Sometimes you just have to start.

And keep starting.

Until you are doing. 

Marketing and Nutrition

Today's Tidbit Tuesday is about something I find fascinating.

It is incredible much we believe is shaped by other people.

We all know that marketing is a thing.

We know that it is used to persuade.

But I think that most of think that we are also pretty savvy. We like to think that we at least know when we fall victim to elaborate campaigns or a well designed label. (I am a sucker for a good wine label.)

So let's test this. 

In today's Tidbit Tuesday I pose the question: 

Which has the most Vitamin C?

  1. Oranges (100g)
  2. Brussel Sprouts (100g)
  3. Bell Peppers (100g)

Think you know the answer? Go ahead and guess - the video will be coming shortly!

Look for more on Marketing & Nutrition I plan to dig deep and find out more fun facts on how great marketing has influenced our food selection. 

Toasted Coconut Flakes (omgee so tasty) [Recipe]

Want a tasty treat? Roast them flakes!

I love this recipe because it is stupid simple and SUPER satisfying.

Step 1: Find yourself some Coconut Flakes. I like Edward & Sons, Organic Coconut Flakes, Unsweetened.

Step 2: Put about a TBS of Coconut Oil into a pan, I prefer a cast iron skillet. Warm pan on a lower heat to melt and spread the oil.

Step 3: Add a fair amount of the flakes (don't overfill). You want them to be laid pretty flat and even. 

Step 4: Keep the stove on a low to medium heat and keep your eye on the flakes. You will see them begin to brown, it doesn't take long. Eye their progress and don't let them burn. Stir them around. 

Step 5: Once they are sufficiently toasty take them off the heat.

Step 6: Optional. Add a bit of sea salt and/or add cinnamon. The taste is magic.

AND THAT IS IT! YOU DID IT! YOU MADE THEM!

Enjoy!

 

5 Tips When You Are Sick [Video]

I was on the mend so I made a video with cheesy graphics.

In this video I cover 5 tips for when you are sick:

#1 Let it work it's way through you!

#2 Don't dampen the sickness.

#3 Bone Broth - drink it.

#4 Minerals!!! (I will do a future post on this as well).

#5 Vitamin D. 

Is Bone Broth A Miracle Cure? No... And Yes.

Bone broth is really just stock.

People have been making stock for a LONG LONG time. It isn't some new crazy thing. It is actually a pretty old traditional thing. 

Stock is made from using the leftover bones (or buying bones) and creating a soup.

Sounds like magic ammiright?

Well no. 

And it isn't magic.

What it is, is nutritious. The benefit of creating stock from bones is that it contains a ton of minerals (and vitamins and amino acids, but lets focus on minerals). You see bones are where a lot of minerals are stored and in todays world many of us are not getting enough minerals into our diets. Bone broth is an excellent way to get in more in a way that is highly accessible. Meaning that because it is a liquid it has an easier time absorbing into our system. 

To sum it up the stock contains minerals we lack and in a liquid form they are easier to absorb. Win, win.

I stumbled upon this article the other day: http://www.today.com/food/i-tried-bone-broth-week-heres-what-happened-2D80450660

And though there are some good points raised, the mentality of "I tried it for a week" makes no sense, really isn't the point, and speaks to how our culture looks at things i.e. magic pill or quick fix. Sigh. Again, it just really isn't the point. 

Bone broth isn't a magic bullet.

It is a fantastic addition to a diet. 

If you're interested in trying your hand here are a few recipes to get you started. Everyone has their own spin so it is nice to scan a few different sources. Personally, I make mine in a crockpot - my crockpot is tiny so I tend to scale down portions.

Enjoy! And good luck!

Food is hard so I might as well just eat Twinkies

Nutrition is tricky.

But then again it isn't.

The problem shows up in looking for the quick fix, the perfect diet, or the holy grail of food. 

There is no perfect.

There is no diet that suits everyone.

And there is no magic food. 

When first delving into understanding food better there is A LOT of conflicting information.

It can be paralyzing.

Fat is good. Carbs are bad.

Fat is bad. Carbs are good.

Protein is great. 

Red meat will kill you.

Kale is a superfood.

Kale will kill you.

Lemon in water is excellent!

Lemon in water is terrible for your teeth.

AHHHG! It is maddening.

So. I might as well go eat Twinkies, and Skittles, and Fruit Loops, and Lunchables, and Fruitsnacks, and... EVERYTHING.

Makes sense.

Perfect logic.

:I

No.

Highly processed refined foods are not the answer. This is something - in the vast world of nutrition - pretty much everyone can agree on.

As for the rest of it the body craves balance. Going too left (aka a million green kale smoothies all day er'yday) or going too right (aka all meat no veg all the time) is generally not the best place to land.

You will eat differently at different times in your life.

What you eat should be dictated by your needs and goals.

There are times when more restriction makes sense.

There are time when a therapeutic approach makes sense.

There are times when you can get away with indulging yourself. 

And there are times when you cannot.

Figuring out what you need for specific weight loss goals, health concerns, and/or performance CAN be tricky and take time and experimentation to figure out (I can help you).

But, in broad strokes eating foods that are high quality, foods that are whole, avoiding refined grains and sugars MAKES A LOT OF SENSE and is something you can do if you'd like to push the pendulum toward health. 

I would like to eat all the cereal

I love cereal. Love it.

I remember watching cartoons and digging into bowl after bowl.

Eating it by the gallon in college. A versatile food serving as a snack, a breakfast, a lunch, or a dinner. 

I remember coming home a little (okay maybe a lot) tipsy from the bars back in my twenties and being so proud for grabbing the cereal versus a pizza. And. Just. Chowing. Down.

So many delightful cereal memories. 

My super big weakness is Fruity Pebbles a serving size is 3/4th cup which yields about 10 servings per box.

HA.

HA.

HA.

I have never experienced a reality in which I could get 10 servings out of my box o' pebbles.

And this is the big reason why I do not indulge in cereal. It is a trigger for me, I also don't think it is the best choice for getting quality nutrition into the body, but most important it is a trigger.

Do you know your triggers?

How do you choose to interact with them?