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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. 


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 | What is your relationship to food? [VIDEO]

Okay. So we are taking a walk on the slightly woo side.

In this Tidbit Tuesday I come to you with a thought experiment. How do you approach your food? Why? Because the relationship you have with what you eat really does matter - watch to learn more and to see my sleepy face. 

It isn't all about food

What you eat DOES matter, but it isn't the whole picture.

The world of nutrition is jam packed full of different people preaching different approaches. You can find whatever you are looking for - articles to support your beliefs - to tear them down - whatever you need the internet has your back.

My standpoint is that you need to find what works for you. And what works for you today, may not work tomorrow - also what does "work" mean? Health? Weight? 

These clarifying questions are excellent to ask when you are trying to create change.

Now, back to my point.

It isn't all about food.

What do I mean by that? Well. I could tell you THE PERFECT DIET FOR YOU and if you are so stressed out following that diet, it isn't going to work.

If you follow that diet, but still only manage to get 5 hours of solid sleep that night. It isn't going to work.

If you follow that diet, but keep supporting bad relationships in your life. It isn't going to work.

If you follow that diet, and have a terrible internal monologue. It isn't going to work

If you follow that diet, but don't believe you can actually change. It isn't going to work.

Food plays an important role in healing.

But your mind.

It is more powerful.

Learning how to be kind to yourself. Kind to your path. Your progress. Developing patience. These things can be more impactful than the perfect meal plan.

You can change

Belief is crucial

It's our beliefs that drive our behavior. 

We may want things in life. 

More money, better relationships, more sleep, to lose weight, a more active lifestyle, more down time... and so on.

But what do we believe we can achieve?

What do we believe we deserve?

It is important to visit these questions. If you don't truly believe you can change, or believe you deserve to change - you won't. 

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

Actually doing the work that needs to be done

It is super unsexy.

To do the work that needs to get done. We don't hate doing work - but - focusing on the task that actually needs to be completed can be the challenge. 

Maybe we want to do a badass muscle up, but do we have the strength, the mobility, the joint support required?

Working the muscle-up is sexy.

Doing serratus push-ups and warming up your rotator cuffs... might not seem as fun.

Working your body to the bone is pretty sexy.

Taking it easy. Resting. Recovery... less so.

Burning the candle at all the ends... sexy.

Prioritizing sleep? Nope.

The work that actually needs to be done to ACCOMPLISH GOALS rather than just chase them.

Isn't sexy, but it is necessary.

 

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!

One Choice You Can Make To Radden Up Your Day

Do you want to supercharge your day?

Maybe you don't, and that's cool, I'll chat with you later.

If you do, how do you approach it? Email me, I'm curious.

My tip. 

Intention.

SEXY RIGHT?!

No. Not really, but it is effective.

A lot of us approach our day with kind of a haphazard I will survive mentality and push through. That's fine. I am not going to kick it out of bed, but if you are looking to get more out of your day INTENTION can be magical.

So what do I mean. You can boil it down to presence and attitude. 

Presence. Have the intention to BE WHERE YOU ARE.

Put your things down and focus on who or what is in front of you. Exhausting, right? The more you do it, the easier, AND (bonus) the more rewarding.

Listen to Louis CK on this one: 

Attitude. Choose an intention for the day. 

Example: Today I am going to focus on levity and play.

Apply it by remembering the intention throughout the day.

Crappy meeting? How can you find levity in the situation?

Maybe you can go all big bad world and realize how tiny that meeting is in comparison to say... a hurricane. Or an earthquake. Or think about the vastness of space.

Or maybe Office Space will help (and be amused by the muting of 'bad words'): 

When you find yourself lost choosing an intention or choosing to have intention can work wonders.

I promise. 

What sucks you dry?

What steals your energy so hard that you are a shell for too many moments of your day?

Negativity abounds. You can find PILES of it if you go looking.

The news.

Social media.

Paperwork.

Politics.

Reality TV shows.

Your coworkers.

Gossip.

Family.

Snarky friends.

Your own brain. 

The list goes on. 

And on.

So the question becomes what do you have control over?

What can you choose minimize?

I'll leave you with that thought and see myself out.

3 Ways to Make your Morning More Awesome

You know what you need? More morning awesome. 

And lucky for you, I am here to give it to you.

Now, I love mornings. It is the time I feel freshest and light with the possibilities of the day. This is the feeling I'd like to give to you. Here is my short list of tips:

Tip #1 - Give yourself a Hi-Five

That's right. A self hi-five (a personal fav). Simply think "Hey, Self, today is going to be rad." And hi-five your other hand. Ridiculous? Yes. Fun? Yes.

Try it.

Tip #2 - Positivity (whether you believe it or not)

Trick your brain. Whether you are having a rough go of it or loving life, starting your day with the intention of positivity will be a miracle sauce for the foundation of your day. 

Think to yourself "I love my life" or "Man! There are so many possibilities for today!" Again, whether or not you believe it NO MATTER it has the potential to put a bit of spring in your step.

Tip #3 - Smile

We are going to trick the brain AGAIN. Smiling has a physiological impact on the body. It actually signals that things are pretty great and triggers pleasure receptors in the body. Who doesn't want to trigger those?

Mornings can be tough, but infusing them with a bit of levity can help to bring some awesome into your day.

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.