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FAT– Fact or Fiction

Being in the fitness industry I constantly hear so many lies circulating in the next ‘get fit’ fad that goes by.  One of my Favorites is that fat and carbohydrates make you fat. In a nut shell no they don’t make you fat. They are both necessary to keep your body working at peek performance. Consuming the wrong fats will make you fat.

According to David Ludwig, MD, PhD (leading obesity researcher and professor of nutrition at Harvard University) we would be better spending our time paying attention to what we eat rather than how much.

The wrong kinds of fat will make you fat. Fats such as those found in ready made pie crusts, baked goods, processed grain-fed meats, packaged cookies (esp. with frosting), shortening, margarine, microwave popcorn, fried foods, frozen pizzas. Now I’m not saying to never consume any of these things but my goal is that you have informed decisions regarding your health so you don’t wonder why you may be stuck in a health ‘rut’ of some sort.

So what do healthy fats do for us anyway? Why do we need them? Healthy fats consist of Triglycerides, cholesterol and other essential fatty acids. They store energy for us acting as little messengers that help proteins do their jobs. And of course they insulate and protect our vital organs, help aid immune functions, metabolism, reproduction, reduction of inflammation, blood clotting and brain development.

Lets start with metabolism. Metabolism is the chemical process that converts fat molecules to energy. During this process the fat or triglycerides stored in the body is broken down into glycerol and fatty acids which are absorbed by the liver, kidneys and muscles which in the end maintains our body temperature, carbon dioxide etc. etc.

So, how can this information help us? First of many fad diets out there want us to starve to loose  fat but I can assure you their are better ways! I also don’t believe in never eating a donut. The when, where, hows are so important when dealing our fat sources. Deprivation is NOT the answer and it doesn’t work in the long run.

Eating fats, proteins and fiber filled foods will only serve to help you feel satiated and ward off not only cravings but insulin spikes and in the end cause you to consume less calories in general. They will also improve heart and skin health and deter other diseases that are caused from over consumption of fats particularly wrong fats.

I’ll leave you with a list of some wonderful weight loss fats:

  • Dark Chocolate
  • Nuts, seeds & nut-butters
  • Avocado
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Wild Salmon
  • Flax & Chia seeds

 

RECIPES

BROWNIES

BLACK BEAN NUT BUTTER BROWNIES

I know I know you have heard this one before. But I swear they are delish!!! Now, this has taken me lots of trial and error time with a very picky crew (specifically my husband!). Believe me that I have had my fair share of less than par black bean brownies. But, this time I think you will be pleasantly surprised! Layer this up with some banana protein ice cream and now we’re talking!

It is kind of a passion for me to handcraft desserts specifically into something that become wholesome and nutrient dense.

What I love specifically about this recipe is that it is SO EASY. Like most of what we do in our house, it’s what I like to call a ‘one shot pot’. Though it’s not technically in a pot but you get the drift! There is something satisfying about throwing all the ingredients into a food processor and BAM you are done! I don’t like to spend my time primping and fussing over a meal, let alone a dessert. I also don’t want my family to feel deprived like they are missing out on what the world has to offer. But, I also want them eating real ingredients that taste good and leave them not only feeling good but healthy.

This little tasty treat is both dairy and grain free with one piece leaving you satisfied.

 

BLACK BEAN BROWNIES

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ cup raw cacao (or bakers cocoa)
  • 1/3rd cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup raw honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt (watch salt if using salted peanut butter)
  • 1½ tbs xylitol ‘sugar’
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1/8th tsp almond or coconut extract

———————————————————————————

  • up to 1 cup of Dark Chocolate (*we love Enjoy Life Brand-chunks)

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Pulse all ingredients together until well incorporated then add Chocolate chips and do some quick pulses to mix them in.

2. Pour batter into 8×8 greased pan (*we like coconut oil spray)

3. Put in 350 degree preheated oven for 25-30 minuets until dipping knife into middle of brownie and it comes out clean. I like to eat these straight up hot and melty!

 

NOTES

  1. though I haven’t tried it, I would imagine that any nut butter would work well. If anyone tries it please let me know how it comes out 😉
  2. In case you are wondering what xylitol could be. It is a sugar alcohol with negligible effects on blood sugar and is a teeth friendly sweetener derived from the birch tree.

 

Hope you all enjoy!

~Love the Abundant Fit Momma Kitchen

 

RECIPES

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER POWER FUDGE

From our home to yours, I look forward to sharing with you some of my family’s most favorite recipes!… and here is our latest edition!

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POWER FUDGE

 

In our home we are all about healthy eats and trying to maintain the body size we would like individually. But we sure do love our sweets! So, I had to really work hard to come up with ways we could ‘have our cake and eat it too’ if you know what I mean. Staying fit and being able to eat desserts and snacks that leave us feeling satisfied and not deprived is important to me individually as a wife and as a mother of two growing tots.

I am excited to share with you one of my newest favorite recipes that is loaded with satisfying fats, pure protein, and antioxidants. What more could we ask for out of a dessert 😉 or for me as an afternoon snack with my cup of tea. I am always hankering for a bit of sweet mid afternoon after I’ve put the kiddos down for a nap and I get to snuggle up with a good devotional and journal.

Here’s a little more info on this health happy power fudge. Coconut oil is a saturated fat but it also has an interesting ability to give our healthy HDL cholesterol a boost. Not all fats are created equal and coconut oil has a higher level of  lauric acid and a good amount of antioxidants. But, this being said I will wouldn’t go slathering coconut oil all over your food because it is still a saturated fat and we don’t need to load our bodies with excessive amounts.

Raw cacao is one of the staples in our home because it is far superior to unsweetened cocoa (which has had many of its nutrients processed out of it). We use it in place of unsweetened bakers cocoa. We even make our own hot chocolate from scratch with it. It is jam packed with antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and a ridiculously high amount of iron for a plant. I love the write up that begoodorganics.com offers.

Collagen protein is another of our home staples and I like it because it is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It is the protein found in our muscles, bones, skin, blood vessels, digestive system and tendons. It not only helps give our skin strength and elasticity but is a key component in healing the intestinal wall (healing leaky gut issues and other digestive diseases). Glutamine (one of the amino acids in collagen) is a key to preventing gut inflammation. We like to put it in any number of things, from our protein waffles to our tea! Because it is tasteless and virtually melts away it really is an easy resource for health promotion.

Hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know how you like it. I would love your feedback!

 

POWER FUDGE

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER FUDGE
INGREDIENTS
prep time/total time: 5 min
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup unsweetened raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa)
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter (or any nut-butter)
  • ¼ cup of raw honey (or processed)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • up to 1/8 cup of collagen protein (too much will change the consistency)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Line a loaf pan (or any small pan really) with parchment paper. Double recipe for 8×8 pan.
  2. In a small sauce pan, combine all the ingredients until melted and smooth.
  3. Add all contents into pan. Place in the fridge for at least 30 min. I like to toss mine in the freezer because I’m impatient! When hard, flip out onto cutting board can cut into desired sizes…and enjoy!
NOTES
*Store in the fridge unless you want a melty mess; although it will still taste FANTASTIC!!
*Because not everyone has collagen on hand, you may omit the protein if needed. It will still taste AMAZING.
This is a recipe that I adapted from Apple-Of-My-Eye.
Blog

Warding off the Winter ‘F’lues

We have banished the term ‘flu season’ in our house because it is a season rarely seen and drawn attentions to. Though I’m a firm believer on getting most of our nutrients from the food we eat, there are a few proven items in our family ‘prevention’ kit that I would love to share for warding off the dreaded sniffles etc.

Green (and white) Tea

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Green tea is loaded with polyphenols (antioxidants). They actually contain six types of antioxidants known as catechins making it a powerful antiviral agent which reduce the infection rate of healthy cells (reducing cold-like symptoms and fever) and weakening the virus. Antioxidants in green tea allow your immune system to combat illness and restore health. It is a mean anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic.

Echineacea

pexels-photo-189386.jpegWe love to grow our own Echineaca (or Coneflowers) and make them into tea for winter months. Though we have a special love for the brand Child Like Echineacea when we have had contact with illness esp. because children can take it. It does not contain alcohol like many homemade tinctures and is flavored with sweet orange oil. Echineacea has been proven to increase white blood cells which fight infections. Helping boost the bodies immune system.

Vitamin D

pexels-photo-236401.jpegWhen winter dark sky’s hit and we tend to not get enough vit. D sometimes we may need to supplement. Many people seem to be low on vit. D. It is a good idea to have your levels checked and at the same time not to go over on vit D drops or pills as you can O.D. on D! Cholecalciferol (D3) is a form of Vitamin D which is naturally synthesized in skin. Your body uses this little gem to boost your immune system by producing antimicrobial deterrents.

Probiotics

pickled-jalapenos-preserve-preserved.jpgEspecially since I have had dairy issues I do not get live cultures from things like raw yogurts (with live and active cultures- beware, some brands have been caught with less active ingredients then promoted). Though our family does enjoy fermented pickles and other fermented foods like homemade raw sauerkraut.

Renew Life Ultimate Flora is our current number one in the spot of supplementation. And believe me when I say not all brands are what they claim to be. Probiotics have been proven in case studies to lessen the number of respiratory and sinus related illnesses. Scientific theory is that some strains of probiotic bacteria boost immune system responses and reduce inflammation helping the body to fight infections naturally.

Taking probiotics on a daily basis is not my recommendation (as it can cause more harm than good-see below). But, if you have been irregular, drinking, ill, on antibiotics these can all be great reasons to go on a probiotic regimen. Also, I do enjoy Kombutcha (see warnings below). But, you can get a more potent form of natural probiotics from good old fashioned fermented foods!

Manuka Honey

pexels-photo-315420.jpegThis is an expensive little health supportive add on and we have been known to dip into the bottle with a spoon if someone in our house has been ill. Though I personally like adding it to my tea. Honey has a long standing name as anti microbial and soothing for sore throats. But the special thing about New Zealand Manuka honey, along with its antiviral properties is the amount of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants it carries.  Some hospitals are even using it to ward of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that cause issues such as MRSA and VRE.

I hope this little insite from our house to yours helps you on your road to abundant living.

~Sheri

 

 

WARNING

Please consult your medical professional upon taking any supplements and/or changing your regimen.

Green (white) teas potency can effect certain medications such as anti-clotting agents (warfarin, aspirin), birth control pills, and any medication that causes you to be sensitive to caffeine.  Green tea (black tea) also can inhibit folate (and folic acid) absorption in the intestines. Folate is important for the proper development of the neural tube, which prevents disease in unborn babies.

-See PMC US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3498696/ 

D3: you should not take cholecalciferol if you have high levels of calcium or vitamin D in your body or any condition related to malabsorption.

Kombutcha is not recommended for those pregnant or nursing. It could contain harmful bacteria especially more so if homemade and unregulated.  Because Kombucha tea is a detoxing agent, all the toxins and bodily waste gets excreted into your breast milk. It can also effect the development of infant’s immune system. Kombucha can be very acidic which could lead to metabolic acidosis (kidneys not able to remove enough acid from the body causing a buildup of toxins in baby). 

-See:  http://www.organic-kombucha.com/kombucha_should_not_use.html

Probiotics; Because bacteria exchange genetic material they can rapidly evolve and adapt to new living conditions (mimicking the same issue with constant antibiotic usage). In short the bacteria in the gut can evolve and become resistant beginning as with constant antibiotic usage, an open door to further sickness and disease. 

-Probiotics and common cold: https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20051107/good-bacteria-good-for-colds 

-Stop using long term probiotic suppliments: https://fearlesseating.net/stop-taking-probiotics

Manuka Honey: note that raw honey is not recommended for pregnant women due to bacteria that can harm baby in utero.

-For info on Manuka ratings and what they mean see http://healthywithhoney.com/i-want-to-buy-manuka-honey-what-is-umf-16-mgo-400-active/  

 

 

 

 

 

Blog

War on Food- Low Carb

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy! So why do we spend so much time trying to not eat them?
As a fitness professional it is hard for me to hear all the different diets and fads out their that almost ban the consumption of both of these needed macros.

So lets start of there. What is a macro? Macro is short for macro-nutrients. Macro nutrients make up the caloric content of food; such as carbs, fat, and protein.
Combining these nutrients together is where our total caloric intake comes from.

Carbs are at the leader of the Macro-nutrients because its the body’s primary source of energy. Carbs are used quickly after being ingested. But, compared with fats they are much poorer molecules for energy storage.
When we eat carbs (weather grains, fruits, vegetables or sugars) they are broken down into glucose and that glucose is constantly being converted into energy in a process called (ATP-Adenosine Triphosphate). Though, many don’t realize, when
they are on a low carb diet, if they eat too much protein (protein that you do not readily need) that protein excess will cause the liver to convert the amino acids found in that protein into sugar (this sugar bi-product can feed systemic infections in the body and inhibit the body’s natural ability to detoxify.
ATP is broken down when the body requires energy (through a process called hydrolysis). when excess ATP and glucose are present the liver converts them into glycogen molecules (and triacylglycerols). These are stored for later use.

Any macro taken in access gets stored as fat for later use. Fat is a topic I will save for a later time.

So basically glucose found in the food we eat is broken down into an energy source. This energy fuels our bodies. Your body needs all macro nutrients to be successfully working for you.

Now where we get our source carbs and when they are consumed are the things that should start being focused on. As you stick with me through future blogs I will write more on these topics.