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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

 

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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/  

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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MEAL PREPPING — Is It Worth It?

Meal Prepping,

I find this can be a scary topic for many people. They feel overwhelmed at the thought of the work ahead of them. Their are misconceptions that meal prepping is a time costly extravagance. But, in reality it can be an extreme time saver and calorie saver. Now I’m not talking about saving calories for the sake of consumption intake but rather what kind of calories we tend to consume when healthy food is readily available through prep.

Lets face it some days are busy and we would love to steal as many moments as we can. Meal prep Mondays are a life saver in my home. Having a veggie tray, and fruit tray is  often a staple. I also like to cook my protein in enough quantity to at least last 1/2 the week. Normally that protein is organic chicken breast. Its kind of amazing how many raw veggies you will snack on or add to a meal if its all ripe and ready to pop into your mouth!

I find setting aside just about an hour to meal prep makes a huge difference in how my family functions. And I’m talking simple meal prep. I’ll trade in elaborate meals any day for meat that is cooked that i can quickly throw into a wrap, broth, on a salad, or with some left over vegetables.

Practically when we are on the ball as a family. The fruit tray is a great side dish to breakfast, a good morning snack or after dinner dessert. The veggies also follow suit for an afternoon snack or as a side dish with lunch.

Hope you enjoyed a little food prep 101. From this Abundant fit momma to you…