All posts in Health Tips

August 13, 2014 -Eat Your Way to Health: Restoring Your Vitality with Wise Food Choices

“You are what you eat.” How many times have you heard that old adage? It probably has never been more true than now. Many health experts will agree that our Standard American Diet (SAD), has caused an overall deterioration in health. Add in exposure to toxins, lack of exercise and insufficient nutrients, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for chronic disease.

Most diseases that plague us–including cancer, diabetes, arthritis and more–have been linked to inflammation. There are many causes of inflammation and actions you can take to mitigate the damage it causes.

People suffering from chronic disease often find little relief from prescription medication, or experience terrible side effects. Many experience pain and fatigue, making exercise difficult, and causing weight gain. It is a vicious cycle if not interrupted.

Many people living the SAD lifestyle simply don’t know any better; they are “nutritionally challenged”. Most of us are disconnected from our food, not thinking too much about where it comes from or taking much time to prepare it. Finally, each one of us is different. What bothers you might not bother the next person.

If you want to eat with the intention of healing and/or gaining vitality, there is good news: when given a chance, the body heals. What we first must overcome is the “fix it quick” mentality. While results may not come “quick”, simple changes in your diet and lifestyle often present real improvements within weeks. As Hippocrates said so long ago, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

There are three basic areas related to naturally restoring your health and vitality through your diet: 1) Toxicity, 2) Nutrition, 3) Lifestyle

Area 1: Toxicity

Toxins are found all around us, and when they accumulate in the body, they create inflammation, which causes and exacerbates disease. When you “detox”, you cleanse internally, which eliminates excess fat, toxic accumulation, mucus and parasites. After a detox, you’ll absorb nutrients much better. Your body uses vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to reduce inflammation. This creates a vitality cycle instead of a vicious cycle!

Before you detox, make sure you evaluate your toxic load and nutrient needs with a health professional who can guide you with surveys and lab tests.

Once you begin eliminating toxins, don’t put them back in! Follow these steps to help keep toxins out of your system:

  • Buy organic produce, especially those on the Dirty Dozen list.

Link to: http://www.mfihealth.com/organic-produce/

 

  • Choose less packaged foods. If it’s not processed, there’s less of a chance of food additives and other toxins being present.

 

  • Install a water filter for bathing and drinking/cooking.

 

  • Pay attention to personal care products and home cleaning products. Your lungs breathe in and your skin absorbs chemicals!

 

Area 2: Nutrition

 

Make no mistake, WHERE you get your calories from is just as important as HOW MANY calories you consume. When your food is NUTRIENT DENSE and BALANCED, it nourishes and satisfies. Nutrient dense food contains more antioxidants, which combats free radicals and inflammation in the body. Balanced food choices fuel your body with a good proportion of fats, complex carbohydrates and protein.

 

There is always a choice. Consider kale chips (for which there are many tasty recipes) versus potato chips. Kale has less calories, but is a “super food”, meaning it is extremely nutrient dense. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber. Potato chips usually contribute fat and carbohydrates, and some Vitamin C and potassium, but very little nutritional value overall compared to the number of calories you consume (and subsequently need to burn off for weight loss or maintenance).

 

Area 3: Lifestyle

 

Tossing toxins and straightening out your diet doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Life happens, and can be a distraction at best–a deterrent at worst. You’ll reach your goals with the least resistance if you:

 

  • get buy-in from your family and friends
  • prepare meal menus, snacks and shopping lists ahead of time
  • cook more than you go out to eat
  • get enough sleep
  • deal with stress

 

Little habits, practiced over time, become second nature. Everyone is different physically and was also raised with different attitudes and beliefs about food and life in general. Everyone has different challenges–from chronic disease to obesity to out-of-control stress. However, when you give your body the “medicine” it needs, it begins to heal.

 

To get your individual questions answered, join us for our in-house event with Food Coach Expert, Gisele Sood. Read more about this event here.

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May 15, 2014 – Coconut water as children new favorite’s drink!

coconut water for healhy kids

What is your child’s favorite drink?

So, often, Drinks such as sweetened teas, fruit juices from concentrate, energy drinks, sodas, or even flavored water are beverages often loaded with sugar, food coloring, and preservatives, and contain very little nutritional value. Not all kids will listen to mom and drink filter water daily and nothing else without complaining.

For that reason, Coconut water is a very good alternative and may become you child New Favorite drink since:

  • it has way less sugar than “the teens popular drinks”
  • Contain no artificial sweeteners nor sugar alcohols, no preservatives, no food coloring
  • Taste delicious, refreshing, cooling your down
  • It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink.
  • Mother-nature electrolyte – perfect to recover from workout or extreme heat

Why would the kids like Coconut water?

  • Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet a nutty taste.
  • And if your child doesn’t like it a first, mix it up with pulp fresh berries or peach at first and re-offer regularly until your child develops a “likeness” for that new tropical flavor!

Indeed, Plain coconut water could be a better choice for adults and kids looking for a nutritious beverage however, don’t overdo it, 11 oz. of coconut water contains 15 grs of natural sugar, which is not much, but will add up if you gulp down many cartons a day. Make sure you stay hydrated daily and aim to drink up about ½ your body weight (in ounces) of water/day. For example, if your weight 100 pounds, it is suggested you drink 50 ounces of water/day!

How to consume coconut water:

As a Smoothie: As the main liquid (use 2 cups for 8 oz. drink), add 2/3 fruits, 1/3 greens (spinach, romaine), and Voila!

To go:  Pack a carton with straw in your kid’s backpack

As a raw soup: blend 11 to 15 oz. of coconut water with 1 cucumber, 2 carrots, 1 tsp. of celery seeds, Himalayan salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Served chilled topped with your preferred fresh herb!

What is coconut water?

Coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts, preferably Young Thai coconuts.

Benefits:

Strengthen a weak immune system

Helps you recover from a workout (More Electrolytes That Leading Sports Drinks with 15 Times the Potassium

Hydrating and Tonic

Curb your appetite, provide satiety, and provide mental health- Since it contains medium Chain Saturated Fatty acids, it provides “good fats”  that will be used  right away as fuel!

Replaces fluids and salts lost during exercise (It’s a natural isotonic)

Delivers more potassium than two banana.

Contains “growth promoting properties”: excellent for improving muscle size and general physical growth in children.

Energizer: If you feel very fatigued, drink it up, it will provide you fast fuel!

How to buy the best coconut:

Pick brands that read with labeling as such: “non GMO project”, organic, raw, unflavored, not from concentrated…

For consuming the whole coconut (soft meat and water), select coconut from a Health Food Store and look for “Young Thai coconuts”.  In Asian market, they are easily recognizable because they are flat on 1 side, cylindrical around the edges, and conical on the top.

keep hydrated for the summer

keep hydrated for the summer

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March 27, 2014: Any problem with protein bars and protein powders for children?

introduction to Nutrition at Lake Mary Preparatory school

Yesterday, I was the speaker at Lake Mary Preparatory, all day, to enlighten kids about nourishing food. The goal from the athletic coaches at LMP was to have kids listen to an expert on nutrition and healthy Living in the hope they’ll be more receptive to “food talks’. Well, we covered lots of topics such as making healthier choices and an  introduction to the 3 macro nutrients that should be in their plate daily (health fats, complex carbs, and a blend of plant base and animal proteins). Inevitably the topic of the growing popularity of protein bars and protein powders came up:

Parents and kids feel they finally have a solution having a smoothie on the go, packed with nutrients. I have to admit that is way better than sugary cereals or skipping breakfast, but I wanted to suggest that there are many points to consider before you make a habit of grabbing a protein bar or having a protein shake daily! (discussion on Protein Bars will follow in another blog!)

What’s wrong with protein supplements for children?

Do not consume protein supplements (bars and powder) if:

  1. Under 14 years of age
  2. Issues with liver and kidney
  3. Lactose intolerant
  4. Poor quality of protein powders

1.Protein powders, while great for athletes and those participating in strenuous exercise, can be dangerous for children under the age of 14.

For children over 14, protein supplements can be appropriate (we’ll discuss later other options for supplementation others than powder and bars).The US Institute of Medicine states that the recommended dietary allowance of daily protein intake for children ages 1 to 3 is 13 grams, children ages 4 to 8 is 19 grams and children ages 9 to 13 is 34 grams. By these numbers, children under 14 do not require protein powders.

2. Too much protein will put strain on your kidneys and liver since protein is broken down by those organs.

Rule of Thumb: Take your body weight in kilograms (1 kilo = 2.2 pounds). You need that number in grams of protein a day. Ex: If your body weight is 56 kilograms (125 pounds), you need 56 grams of protein a day. Now that is the rule for adults!

3. Is your kid lactose intolerant? Whey Protein powders contains lactose, a milk sugar. If you’re lactose intolerant, consuming it can result in gas, bloating, or nausea.

4. Did you do your research on the quality of your whey protein powder? Since whey protein comes from milk, did you wonder: Were the cows grass fed? Were the cows injected with rbJH, steroids, growth hormones?

Problems with Protein Powder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Consuming protein powders or bars have its protein content denatured, devalued with a changed natural composition since processed, and thus will be less nutritious.

HOW CAN YOU SUPPLEMENT PROTEIN WITH FOOD?

Animal and Plant ProteinAnimal Protein: such as poultry (turkey, chicken), meats, eggs, fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, halibut…)

Plant protein: all soybeans products (non GMO) such as Tofu, soymilk. Even better, incorporate fermented soy products such as tempeh, miso, or fermented tofu since they yield more nutrients such as beta-glucan, glutathione, and good condensation of B-vitamins.

You can also use Mutual supplementation by combining partial protein-food (missing Amino Acids) to make complementary proteins. For instance when you combine rice and beans, they form complete protein.

You can combine beans (or other legumes) with:

Brown rice – Corn (non-GMO) – seeds – wheat – nuts – seeds

You can combine brown rice with any of those:

Beans (legumes) – seeds – nuts

Remember to eat your LEGUMES, they are colorful, versatile, and packed with fibers. Think “kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, lentils, navy beans, peas, Indian dal, etc…)

Basically, a combination of any grains, any nuts and seeds, any legumes, and a variety of mixed vegetables will make a complete protein.

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March 25, 2014 – Teaching Young Athletes how to add Nutritious Food to their Diet

Young athletes from LMP

I’m so glad Athletic coach Stephanie Best from Lake Mary Prep Private school (Lake Mary, Florida) offered me to come on site to talk all day to kids in PE class about “good eats”. Can’t wait for Thursday March 27th, 2014 to share so many exciting news and controversies on nutrition. It’s a  challenge to pick which topic  kids would love best!

I truly enjoy talking food with kids and teenager as I feel they are more receptive to CHANGE. All our habits and foundations (good or not) develop in our childhood

At home, school, and throughout the community, kids are offered “food” as reward. We are not talking about a nutritious bite, but rather candies, pizza… an easy choice than can cause immediate short behavior change

Using food as a rewards teach kids to eat when they aren’t hungry and will likely cause to develop long term habits of comforting themselves with unhealthy food (pizza, cookies, candies, sodas, power drink, and even coffee…). Those food are “empty calories”, high in sugar, chemicals, and will likely bring a host of health issues….

Another problem arising from rewarding kids with junk is that kids may tie food to EMOTION and reward themselves (even later in life) when feeling accomplished “I did great!! So I DESERVE a double serving of cheesecake! That short pleasure will sadly have long term impact into their growing body.

One Third of kids born after the year 2000 may develop diabetes (report from Center for Disease Control), now how frightening is that! Our kids are bombarded by advertising promoting food that are NOT beneficial to them: processed food with long list of toxic ingredients causing food allergies, auto immune disorder, skin and digestive issues, and obviously the  rate of obesity is in the rise!

Whatever we eat, the ritual of eating, and even the way we chew comes from habits formed in our childhood. However, the beauty in children is that:

  1. They are more receptive to CHANGE than adults
  2. They soak new information well and are ready to implement CHANGE spontaneously
  3. If you can justify a benefit to them, they are likely to adopt a new food

Well, I’m not just throwing that; it’s true. My most popular program as a Food Coach Expert is the “Family Nourishing Program” whereby I involve the ENTIRE FAMILY into the process of cleaning up the diet, planning the meals, and introducing new food, etc…. Parents are always stunned to witness that when their kids help me in their kitchen, kids are EATING whatever they prepare!

This Saturday, I had a cooking demonstration at “the Fresh Market” in Winter Springs where I was promoting “vegetables… notably the golden and red Beets” as the stars of the day. Now believe this: 5 children ages ranging 8 to 14 ATE each a vegetarian Roll Up prepared on a leaf of Swiss Chard and stuffed with raw vegetables and nuts. While ZERO ADULT even gave it a try! Adults are the ones coming with answers such as “I don’t like beets” while kids stuffed their Roll-up with beets and ATE IT!!! And you know the best: when I start my program with families, the most common comment I get from mothers is “my kid is a picky eater, I don’t think he/she will play your game!”… Oh, I love it: life is fun and full of surprises…

So, this coming Thursday, I will provide children with easy tips and methods to incorporate more nutritious food into their diet.

My goals is also to make them aware of “food enemies” to avoid (processed, junk, added salt and sugar, and saturated fat) and “make food friends” to increase the  quality of their lives (fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, healthy fats, and plenty of water).

After all, WE ARE WHAT WE EAT. Let inform our new generation into making healthy food choice and healthy lifestyle so they can enjoy Life without sickness and radiate with energy!!!

kids eat healhty

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January 26th, 2014 – Health Fair event

Food Coach Expert at the Health FairWhat a curious and screened crowd attending the week edn long health fair event in Orlando! Finally an event worthwhile with quality exhibitors in Central Florida. Yes, we all need to find ways to stay away from toxic ingredients, clean the pantry, and wean off junk to restore our health and enjoy a radiant health. Gisele had a great turnout on her healthy and nutritious cooking show on saturday and met people motivated to change their life for the better!

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