Category Archives: diet

Start Fresh This New Year

Here we come to the close of 2016.  A new year is coming.  A fresh start to set news goals, overcome different obstacles and make a better ‘you’.  Undoubtedly everyone has the similar goal of improving myself.  This can be anything from creating less stress at work to simply working out more frequently.  It is clear we will all welcome 2017 with open arms and minds.

You may be one of the people that will mob to the gym and partake in the battle of equipment.  Maybe you’ll hire a nutritionist to better improve your diet.  Or you might start doing your own home remedies to lose some weight.  


One habit to consider this new year is consuming detoxifying drinks.  Detox drinks combine ingredients like fruits, vegetables and herbs and infuses them with water.  These bring major health benefits and reduce the toxicity in our bodies.  What better way to bring in the New year than to give your body a fresh cleaning.  These drinks are full of flavor and have zero calories, making for a great tool to shed some extra pounds.

Water infused drinks also come with other benefits to the body:

  • Reduction in inflammation: When your liver is cleansed, your digestive system gets a break, which helps reduce any swelling within the body.
  • Energy Boost: Toxins from the environment, pesticides, chemicals and other daily pollutants we encounter are stored in our cells. Detoxifying these toxins will free the body up, making it run more efficient.  This leaves less feelings of exhaustion and more for alertness.

 

  • Digestion and weight loss support: The ingredients used in water infused drinks will boost your metabolism.  Many fruits like grapefruit, contain special enzymes that boost metabolic functions by utilizing sugar.  This will leave your body feeling fresh and light
  • Promotes healthy skin:  Chemicals and pollutants can build up in our pores, causing wrinkles and dry skin.  By consuming fruits and vegetables, we can strengthen the metabolic mechanisms of our skin to give it a youthful glow.  Since Vitamin C is prevalent in many detoxifying foods, this will help to slow aging and heal wounds.

What this all translates to is a stronger immune system and faster functions.  By drinking infused water we can reduce muscle fatigue, recuperate faster and release fat cells more naturally.  

There are dozens of recipes with multiple ingredients you can use when making your detox drink.  Here are some of the more popular ones to choose from:

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Grapefruit
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Mint
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Dandelion
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Aloe Vera gel

So give these drinks a try.  Set new goals for the year and hit the ground running.  Be afraid to fail and try until you succeed.

Some Detox Recipes To Try At Home

Battling The Holiday Treats

What is your favorite part of the holidays?  Some will say the presents.  Others will say the giving spirit.  My personal favorite are the scrumptious foods and treats.  Santa themed cookies.  Cute gumball gingerbread men.  Christmas tree truffles.  There are so many mouthwatering goodies that will delight your taste-buds.  It’s almost to much to take in at times.  

After a couple dozen holiday parties filled with tables of endless treats, you might start to feel like this guy:

To find a little balance this holiday season and kick diabetes to the curb, consider these tips to stay healthy. 

When consuming sugary treats, keep portion sizes in check.  If you are faced with an irresistible table full of sweets, try a sampling method.  Instead of consuming the whole treat, eat only half of it and then move onto the next.  

Reduce added sugar and replace it with healthier alternatives like vanilla or cinnamon.  By doing this you can reduce the sugar in a recipe by ⅓ to ¼ the needed amount, while still getting a tasty treat.

Schedule your time.  Doing this will allow you to perform the activities needed, but also give you some downtime to relax and de-stress.

Stay nourished.  Instead of saving your appetite for the late lunch, be sure to eat a full breakfast and snack in between long waiting periods.  This will encourage you to eat less when it comes time for the real deal.

Be aware of drinks. The calories can add up when it comes to those fancy holiday sugary drinks.

Focus on eating.  By eating at the table, instead of by the TV, you will be less distracted and more cognizant of your plate.  This will also let you focus on eating slower, which will give your brain more time to feel full. 

Keep up with exercise.  It’s very easy around this time of year to slack off on fitness.  Dedicating even 10-20 minutes will help maintain your body.

Here are a few holiday recipes to fill your stomach and keep you healthy.

Healthy Eggnog Recipes 

Healthy Christmas Cookie Recipes

Healthy Vegetable Recipes

Dieting To Balance A Vata Dosha

 

When dieting to balance out a Vata Dosha, it is crucial to stick to a routine and take things slow.  This will clean out bad habits by creating a process that will keep Vata’s grounded.  There are a few basic principles to abide by that revolve around what you eat and when you eat.

Vata’s should be eating 3 or 4 meals a day, leaving 2 hours between each meals.  So eating a snack is very important to stick to this timeframe.  You want to consume your last meals 2 or 3 hours before you go to sleep.  With lunch being the biggest meal, Vata’s can consume only poultry and fish during this time.  Red meat and raw foods are hard to digest for a Vata, as you have a delicate digestive system.  The key hear is to keep foods warm, cooked and moist.

As a Vata think one pot meals.  Things like crock-pot meals, rice mixes and lots of grains should be your recipes.  The most nutrition you will get comes from whole grains like barleys, rice and quinoa.  When it comes to vegetables, always cook them as they can aggravate a Vata.

Other items to eat are beans that will cook in under 30 minutes.  Using easy to digest beans, split peas and lentils will avoid upsetting the cold nature of Vata.  Nuts, seeds, honey, oils and spices are all things to be incorporated into the diet.

Vata personalities are the most addictive.  When it comes to addictive substances like caffeine and alcohol, moderation is essential.  You should cut back on your caffeine intake to once a day.  While alcohol should be limited to 2 or 3 servings a week, with those servings spread out from each other.  Avoid iced beverages and processed foods completely.  Know when your falling into bad habits and keep yourself in check with a schedule.

A Healthy Diet to Combat Lead Exposure

Doctors in Flint, Michigan are pushing residents to consume a health diet in order to counteract lead exposure.  With the recent devastation that has occurred to Flint’s tap water, lead exposure can be very high in some residents. 

This is why doctors recommend consuming foods high in iron, calcium or vitamin C to mitigate the effects of lead exposure.  This healthy diet will help limit the exposure of lead in your body, as well as promote its excretion.

By consuming vitamin C, you enhance your body’s ability to absorb iron.  When you combine citrus juices, or other foods rich in vitamin C, at the same time as high-iron foods, your body will efficiently absorb the iron. 

Here are some examples of the foods you should be sticking to:

VitaminC

Vitamin C: bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi fruit, broccoli, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas, and papayas.

calcium-food

Calcium: dark leafy greens, cheese, low fat milk and yogurt, bok choy, fortified tofu, okra, broccoli, green beans, almonds, and fish canned with their bones.

Iron-rich foods, including eggs, spinach, peas, beans, red meat,
Iron-rich foods, including eggs, spinach, peas, beans, red meat, liver, and raisins. Isolated on white.

Iron: red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables (spinach), dried fruit (raisins and apricots), iron-fortified cereals, breads, pastas, peas.

 These foods still have many benefits to your body,even if you don’t have a high exposure to lead.  Vitamin C is essential for developing and maintaining scar tissues, blood vessels and cartilage.  Calcium is required in order to grow and strong bones, teeth, nerve signaling, muscle contraction and secretion of certain hormones and enzymes.  While iron is a necessary mineral for the body and often time leads to anemia if deficient.

Gain Weight Through This Ayurvedic Diet

Drink Lots of Water:  

The typical saying for this is to drink 6-8 glasses a day.  In Ayurveda, the practice is to drink as many glasses as there are hours a day.  So if you are awake for 12 hours, you should drink 12 glasses of water.  You also want to avoid caffeinated drinks like coffee because they will dehydrate you.

Consume Dense Foods:

You want a diet consisting of 70% protein.  Foods that are heavy like meats or wheat, generally hold more substance.  You want to avoid a vegetarian like diet.  If you are vegetarian, make sure to consume plenty of milk, yogurt, cheese and other sources of vegetarian protein.

Use Foods That Increase Lubrication:

Foods like yogurt, nuts and oils are great for building up the Kapha dosha, as your muscle is made up of 70% water.  Stay away from foods that are dry, rough, light or hard.

Consume Vegetables Whole:

It is better to eat vegetables in larger chunks, than diced up and finely chopped.

Stick to Flavorful foods

Foods that are sweet, salty and sour can increase the earth, water and fire elements in your body.  Stick to the real flavors, not the artificial kinds.

Make a Routine:

Have a daily schedule for your food intake, making sure to leave plenty of time between meals.  It should look a little something like this:

6-8 am: The first meal of the day and should be a smaller one.

9-11 am: Mid morning snack, which should contain nuts and heavier fruits like bananas, avocado, mango etc.

12-2 pm: Lunch and should be the main bulk of your meals.

2-4 pm: Afternoon snack consisting of fruits and snacks.  It can also be things like oatmeal cookies, flax cookies, cheese, etc.

5-7 pm: This is your last meal of the day and should be a smaller one.

 

 

Foods For A Happy Heart

February is National Heart Health Month.  This month brings awareness to the troubles that can be caused from an unbalanced lifestyle.  Specifically with an unbalanced diet, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and high fat intake are all primary factors that can lead to heart disease.

When you ingest a lot of sodium, the fluid you hold in your body forces your heart to pump harder, which increases your blood pressure.  Plaque builds up in your blood vessels as a result from consuming foods high in unhealthy fats and cholesterol.  Overtime this causes your heart to overwork itself, as it has to push harder through the blocked blood vessels.  These are all reasons why its important to eat a balanced diet that consists of the right foods.

Here are some of the foods you should be consuming to prevent heart disease.

  • Fruits and Vegetables High In Antioxidants:  These help your heart function properly as they are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
  • Whole Grains: The raw, unrefined grains are a good source of protein and rich fiber that helps clean out your body.
  • Limit Sodium: Aim for 1500mg- 2300mg of sodium a day, which equals to a teaspoon or less.
  • Low Fat: Cut out trans fat completely.  Look for heart healthy oils like olive, canola or nut oils.  You want two percent fat content or less.
  • Lean Meats: Always choose lean cuts of meat, poultry and fish.  Fish is also a great source of Omega 3, which is a healthy fat.
  • Eat More Nuts and Legumes: Nuts and Legumes like almonds, pecans, cashews and walnuts are a great source for health fats.
  • Limit Fried Food and Added Sugar:  Soft Drinks like sodas can be a source of empty calories.  Stick to drinks like green or black tea.

Check out this link for some heart healthy recipes.

 

Learning Your Dosha To Fight Imbalance

One of the central teachings of Ayurveda is the theory that a healthy body exists when there is a balance between the three fundamental bodily energies, called doshas.  These three doshas, called Vata, Pitta and Kapha, are the body’s functions that are responsible for all physical and mental processes.

The tridosha theory in Ayurveda comes from the 5 elements that comprise our world – space, air, fire, water (Jala), and earth.  The three doshas are a combination of these elements which take form in the human body.

Vata: (Space + Air)

  •  Vata is movement, the body in motion.  It controls the respiratory system, our heartbeat, nerve impulses, and muscle contractions.  Vata circulates our blood flow, pumps air through our lungs, moves food through our digestive track, and eliminates waste.

Pitta: (Fire + Water)

  • Pitta regulates the body, controlling its metabolism.  It deals with the body in a transformative state.  Pitta handles the digestion of food, release and absorption of hormones, production of heat, and the cooling of the body.  If Vata is the energy that moves nerve impulses through the brain, Pitta is the energy that converts those impulses into thoughts.

Kapha: (Earth + Water)

  • Kapha is the structural foundation of the body in the form of lubrication.  It builds the body and forms its skeleton, muscles, organs, ligaments, tendons and skin.  Kapha ensures the smooth function of joints by lubricating the body.  It is the body at rest through strength, stability and solidity.

Everyone is made up of three doshas, but they will differ between individuals.  Primarily we will have an affinity towards one dosha.  It is important to realize what that affinity is, in order to properly balance your body.  You can take a quiz here to find out which body type you are.

When we live against our natural attributes, we begin a pattern of unhealthy life choices that cause mental and physical imbalances.  This is cured by aligning your everyday habits and diet with the natural fulfillments within your dosha. For example a Pitta may experience heartburn after eating spicy food.  This could be counteracted by eating more cooling or alkalizing foods instead.

Take the quiz, learn more about your body and how you can attain proper equilibrium.

Here are some recipes for spice-water that can help your body type’s imbalances.

Vata Balancing Water

Pitta Balancing Water

Kapha Balancing Water