STRAWBERRY BANANA SMOOTHIE:
1 frozen banana
8 frozen strawberries (without stems)
1 tsp MCT oil
2 Tbsp flaxseed
1/2-1 scoop protein powder (depending on if I've worked out or not)
1 LARGE handful of spinach
Blend together in the blender until smooth and Enjoy :)
ANTIOXIDANT FUELED STRAWBERRY SALAD
Rinse leafy green of choice (spinach/arugula/mixed greens)
Add in slivered almonds, diced strawberries, chopped grilled chicken, and roasted sweet potatoes
Top it off with some avocados and tomatoes
Dress with my HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY VINAIGRETTE (Blend together 4 strawberries + 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar + 4 Tbsp olive oil + 2 Tbsp balsamic + salt and pepper to taste). If you would rather a sweeter dressing, add 2 Tbsp honey.
Strawberry season is usually from about April to August as they are the first fruit to ripen after rhubarb in the spring/early summer!!
Smaller the berry = more flavor
Larger the berry = more water = duller flavor
Buying strawberries at your local farmers market or strawberry patch allows you to find out more about your farmer and the process they use to grow their strawberries (organic)!
Easy Ways to use strawberries
DETOXIFY YOUR BODY WITH HIGH ANTIOXIDANT & NATURAL DIURETIC FOODS
Asparagus helps cure urinary tract infections through the antiurolithiatic effect that helps use the amino acid, asparagine, which increasing diuresis (urine excretion) while lowering urine forming stones, riding the body of excess sodium, and reducing oxidative stress, which reduces free radicals through antioxidants and glutathione, which can help prevent cancer and be used as a prebiotic fiber that aids in digestive and gut health.
Research shows that this positive effect can be caused by a high amount of flavonoids, tannins, polyphenols and antioxidants such as vitamin C and E from food sources. High vitamin C and E sources include citrus foods, asparagus, bell peppers, almonds, sunflower seeds, tomato avocado, spinach, and oils. The diuretic properties of asparagus increase the frequency and volume of urination, which helps detoxify and flush the TOXINS out of the kidneys and body.
Why in the world does asparagus give off such a potent smell when we pee? Don't worry, this is completely normal. This happens because the body breaks down and metabolizes the components of ammonia (colorless gas of Nitrogen and Hydrogen with a pungent smell) and sulfur found in asparagus into chemical compounds that detoxify the body and remove the toxins from the body through the urine!
Goat Cheese ASPARAGUS SIDE DISH IN 15-20 MINUTES
3/4 pound asparagus, hard ends cut off (Look for thick, hearty stalks for easier preparation and better taste/texture)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 tsp garlic (and herb) powder (optional)
What is so wrong with the world these days?
I am going to go on a little rant, so I apologize in advance, but hang in there with me if you're interested! Not only am I sick of the bullying of those who are overweight, but i have also realized how sick I am of people putting others down for being in small or in shape, making healthy choices, or choosing a salad over fried chicken tenders, french fries and a sweet tea.
STOP JUDGING. IT IS NOT YOUR LIFE TO JUDGE.
Healthy comes in all shapes and sizes, and just because someone isn't a size 4 doesn't mean their not healthy. Hormones, genetics and autoimmune diseases are just a few points that can make it difficult to lose or gain weight, but that does not make someone unhealthy. Vise Versus, just because someone is a size 2 doesn't mean they don't eat, are unhealthy or "need a cheeseburger."
Putting people down by saying some of the examples below can have serious effects on someones mental health.
If you are struggling with self-esteem issues or any mental problems dealing with weight:
My personal story
I work hard for the way I look, and even before my diagnosis, of multiple food intolerances, I have always lead a highly active life with good sources of nutrient intake, and for most of my life I have heard "you're too skinny," "someone get her a cheeseburger," "I'm not going to be friends with skinny people this year," "you need to eat a piece of cake," "your legs are too small," "do you even eat?" Yes, ever since my diagnosis, I have lost weight, and that is likely because I have had to eliminate most dairy and grains in my life some being cows milk, wheat, soy, rice and potatoes. However, just because I have a small waist and a flat stomach does not mean I do not work hard to be healthy and in shape. I try and work out as often as I can and feed my body with whole foods. I am healthy. I am not "skinny," and I will refuse to let my diagnosis, size or other peoples comments define me as a person.
All of these comments are usually followed by multiple laughters by outsiders, and it is frustrating because I just want to scream "I can't eat a cheeseburger or a piece of cake, nor do I want to because of my lifestyle choices and the knowledge I have learned through my education." But what I most want to say is "I probably eat more in a day than you do, so back off!" Being healthy = eating whole = self care = gut health = eating often, especially when working out and when you're hungry. So many of American's under-eat, which overtime leads to weight gain (to be discussed in another blog), which make sense as nearly half of Americans are overweight or obese, yet there is more healthy-conscious food availability than ever before.
So, why is it that we all have to be unhealthy to fit in? It's a sad sad world we live in, but I am just thankful that I have a good sense of humor and I am able to brush off the comments and know that I do not need to eat unhealthily just to "fit in" and not be laughed at. However, there are many people out there who can't just laugh it off and move on, and those comments can turn into a mentality issue of "well now I can't gain weight because everyone sees me as skinny, so if I put on a few pounds they will notice," which can then turn into an eating disorder. It's as simple as that people.
Be kind to one another -Ellen Degeneres
REMEMBER, YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON WITH SOMEONES LIFE OR BODY...PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY OR EMOTIONALLY.
Why are we scared of sugar? Back in the Paleolithic era some tribes obtained up to 80% of their calories from honey during the honey seasons and others up to 20% on a daily basis.
The reason we are scared of sugar is because of the type of sugar we are consuming. Sugar intake has increased from 13% to 16% since 1977, and more than 3/4th of this increase was due to the increase in sugar-sweetened beverages, rather than whole food sugars.
The sweet taste of sugar is strongly tied to the reward centers of our brain, which can relieve pain and reduce depression and stress. This is why sugar leaves us wanting more; wouldn't you want more of something that made you happy and feeling relieved or less stress? However, refined, white sugar can provoke immune response in the gut, which can lead to gut inflammation and a compromised immune system, since the gut makes up about 80% of the immune system.
Honey was a staple in the Paleolithic era and contains both fructose (sugar in fruit) and glucose with multiple proteins, enzymes, minerals, and other phytonutrients. Studies show great health benefits while SUPPLEMENTING 3-5 Tbsp of honey each day. Specifically studies show 3.5 Tbsp/d have many beneficial physiological effects including increasing antioxidant levels and decreasing cholesterol-based levels, blood sugar, etc. levels while reducing inflammation. For most benefits be sure to consume honey unheated, and not to ADD honey to diet, but rather supplement it for refined (white) sugar.
This is a zero-calorie sweetener of which studies have shown may decrease blood pressure when taking at least 500 mg of stevioside powder three times per day. A small study showed that a 5-gram dose of stevia extract four times a day for three days improved glucose tolerance and improved insulin sensitivity and liver/kidney function. Ultimately, it is not a bad sweetener option, especially in those who have blood sugar control issues and desire non-caloric sweetener; however, everything in moderation.
MAPLE SYRUP, COCONUT SUGAR & MOLASSES
These three natural sweeteners are made mainly of sucrose with some fructose and glucose; with molasses having nutrients including one fifth of your daily needs of potassium, as well as calcium, B6, iron and magnesium just from one Tbsp. All three are lower than table sugar (65) on the glycemic index with coconut sugar falling the lowest at 35. Glycemic index values food on how quickly it will cause your blood sugar to spike. These all have favorable fructose:glucose ratios, which is important for those with fructose intolerances or those with gut (GI) problems. If you have either of these issues, I would recommend staying far away from agave nectar, as it has the highest fructose content of almost all sweeteners! Maple syrup has little clinical significance in humans; however, suggests it may have anticancer/antioxidant /type 2 diabetes management properties.
Natural sweeteners conclusion
Overall, mollases, coconut sugar, and maple syrup can be thought of as refined sugar alternatives. They are natural, minimally process (depending on the brand; remember, we want quality not quantity) with some minerals. If you are looking to replace refined/white sugar to improve health with positive benefits, research suggests honey & stevia would be your best bet!
artificial sweeteners cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome...false!
The media has engrained into our heads that artificial sweeteners cause all these issues, but where is that evidence? Chris Kresser (click for more info) reviewed multiple studies that showed little clinical evidence to prove these to be true of artificial sweeteners. Two studies came out in the past 7 years with concerns of pre-term infancy and artificial sweeteners; however, It is difficult to get accurate information with human studies as there are so many factors that play into ones body; activity, diet, stress, smoking, drinking, etc. So if you are having infertility issues or plan on becoming pregnant, I would recommend staying away from these sweeteners to be safe.
sugar-free sweeteners confuse the body
Think about it, if you had "sugar" going into your body but was not raising your blood sugar or triglycerides wouldn't you think your body would be a little bit confused? Well, studies done on rats show that those fed with artificial sweeteners consistently gained more weight than the rats fed with glucose or sucrose. Those rats rarely lost the excess weight even after their diets were reversed. Interesting enough, stevia rats gained significantly more weight than glucose-fed rats, and the rats fed with artificial sweeteners developed impaired ability to respond to sugar contained foods.
Conclusion: should you consume artificial sweeteners?
Although it hasn't been proven that artificial sweeteners remain as scary as they were once said to be, I still would not recommend including them in your daily diet. Think about it, you're putting something with the word "artificial" into your body. To me that sounds potentially harmful and something I don't really want in me; try sticking to whole foods & honey if you can!
What are sugar alcohols? Are they better for us? are they safe?
Sugar alcohols are low-digestible carbohydrates that have reduced calories, low glycemic index, fiber and resistance starches (resist digestion); these alcohols are also known as polyols and are found in many fruits. Polyols are included in low FODMAP diets, which are mainly followed by those with digestive issues. This makes sense because sugar alcohols have been known to cause digestive stress and increase gas, GI pain and diarrhea. However, it has also been shown for most that after 1-2 months this distress tends to resolve.
sugar alcohol Conclusion
Overall, sugar alcohols have many therapeutic effects and studies have shown sugar alcohols may have prebiotic effects, which really isn't surprising considering fiber and resistant starches have prebiotic effects as well. Although there are benefits from sugar alcohols, I would not recommend large or regular consumption of these, but if you are in need of a low-calorie sugar substitute I would say to try sugar alcohols over artificial sweeteners. Bai drinks (in my Instagram picture @beautifullprofit) are just one drink that has Erythritol, which is most easily digested and a good substitute for low sugar drink; however, doesn't have as many benefits as Xylitol and is not someone I would recommend consuming on a daily basis!
My Personal Trial Run
Rodan + Fields hooked me up with an amazing Redefine sample kit to test try! They have four regimens for purchase; however I just tried the Redefine Regimen and fell in love:
Pre-Facial Step: This is an opaque grainy type mask that you rub into your pores and skin for 30-60 seconds and then remove with water. I could feel my skin getting tighter/warmer with this Micro-dermabrasion paste that removes dead skin cells before you begin the regimen.
Step 1: Daily cleansing mask: This is your typical white colored mask that you rub a quarter sized amount onto dry skin around your lips and eyes and let it sit for two minutes and then rinse thoroughly with water.
Step 2: Lip Renewing Serum: This clear lip kit is to be applied to the lips to help reveal and maintain fuller, younger, looking lips with conditional peptides and vitamins. Now I am definitely one that needs help with her lips; I am so bad at keep up with my lips and continuously putting chapstick on, but after I put step 2 on my lips felt rejuvenated and so smooth, and I was so amazed with how quickly the nasty cracks and lines on my lips were gone. You do not need to wash this off.
Step 3: Intensive Renewing Serum: This slightly yellow, but clear in color moisturizer is used to correct and prevent the visible signs of aging, and when I tell you that I felt immediate effects, I am not lying. After I rubbed step three in all over my face, my face was unbelievably smooth, and continued to remain smooth for hours after. I felt there was a brightness or glow to my face and the dryness under my eyes decreased slightly, so I can't image how clear and smooth my skin would be after repetitively using this product. After two days, my face became pretty dry, so I assume this is a product that works best if it is continuously used. Also, the dryness could have also been from the weather change and snow that came in :)
RetinAl + AMP MD Micro-Exfoliating Roller
Intensive Renewing Serum:
· Proprietary Retinal-MD Technology -- Fully stabilized RetinAl (exclusive to Rodan + Fields)
· Closest you can get to prescription Vitamin A (the gold standard in skincare -- key ingredient in keeping your skin youthful and healthy looking)
· Retinol vs RetinAl: RetinAl 20x stronger and more potent than Retinol
· Comes in the blue capsule so it's protected from light and oxygen which can decrease its potency and allows us to see better results
· Vitamin A is naturally yellow so the higher the concentration of Vitamin A the more yellow the product will look (why intensive renewing serum has a yellow tint)
· Can be used with all regimens -- calcium buffer system to boost results while minimizing irritation
· Faster results in as little as 4 weeks
AMP MD Roller:
· High precision micro-exfoliating tips
· Gently and safely condition the uppermost layer of skin and maximize effectiveness of products applied to skin
· New protective cap and water resistant design
· Paired with Intensive Renewing Serum and regimen will AMP up results up to 50%
Lets discuss how to read a nutrition food label, especially the new food label (right) that has been introduced and will be implemented on all labels July 2018! I am sure you have a million and one questions about how to exactly analyze a food label, so lets answer some of those FAQ.
1. What are the percentages under the Daily Value column? Each food label is based off a 2000 calorie diet, the daily value percentages will tell you how much of that serving you are consuming for each macro- or micronutrient. For example, the food label on the right states if you eat 1 serving of this food item you will have consumed 13% of your daily carbohydrates. If you subtract 13% from 100% you will see that you can consume up to, but not exceed 87% more CHO throughout the day. DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind, most people don't need to eat a 2000 calorie diet! TIP: Over 20% DV of one serving is considered a great amount of macro/micro x, and less than 5% of DV is considered a small amount of your daily total for that specific macro/micro.
2. Is the food label changing? Yes, by July of 2018 all food labels will look like the food label on the right.
a. Serving Sizes/Dual Columns: The new label will have a serving size accurate of the American diet. For example, ice cream will increase to 2/3 cup and a soda will now have a serving size of 12 oz. On top of the increase in serving sizes for specific items, there will also be a dual food label column for food items that can be consumed in one sitting, such as a pint of ice cream or a 24 oz. bottle of soda. DISCLAIMER: Just because you see a dual label, does not mean you should consume the entire food item!
b. Added Sugar: Added sugar is going to be added below the sugar content column. For many people, sugar on a food label is confusing, are they eating natural sugar or added sugar? This will help give you a visual of how much added sugar is in the food item. FACT: The more added sugar on a food label, the less natural and more processed the item. The FDA recommends that if you are to consume processed foods to consume less than or equal to 10% of added sugar daily.
c. Vitamins and Minerals: The vitamins and minerals are going to change from Vitamin A, C, Iron and Calcium to Vitamin D, Potassium, Calcium and Iron. More Americans are having problems with bone health, high blood pressure and chronic diseases in relation to lack of vitamin D and Potassium consumption.
4. Calories From Fat: This section will be removed from the food label due to research proving that the type of fat being consumed is more important than calories from fat.
3. What am I supposed to be looking at specifically? This is s a tricky question, because there are multiple things you should be looking at. You will definitely want to make sure you do not exceed your daily intake for each macronutrient (CHO, PRO, FAT), watch your added sugar intake, as well as your sodium intake, because sodium retains water and can add on the pounds from fluid weight, make you bloat and swell.
4. If I can't understand what half of the words on the ingredients list means, how am I supposed to know what's good for me? If you cannot pronounce or understand a word on the ingredients list, it is likely that food is processed and contains additives, food colorings, etc. The best way to avoid these harmful substances are to eat natural, fresh foods and stay away from packaged, bagged, canned or frozen meals.
Hidden sugar ingredient names:
The average healthy person should be consuming 45-65% of their daily calories from carbohydrates (vegetables, starches, and/or starchy vegetables); 10-35% protein (meat, eggs, beans, dairy products); 25-35% fat (walnuts, oils, avocados, fatty fish).
Another way to know is to take your weight and divide it by 2.2 to get your weight in kilograms (kg), then multiply your kg by .8. Example: 150/2.2 = 68 x .8 =54.4 grams per day
Stress and Cortisol Levels
Stress is a natural reaction that occurs when the body floods with hormones that elevate the heart rate, blood pressure, and energy levels to help prepare for the "fight-or-flight" response. During the fight-or-flight response, a chemical (ACTH) is released to trigger the adrenal glands, which then releases cortisol and adrenaline. Released cortisol results in a burst of new energy and strength that causes you to fight or flight. Cortisol also suppresses the growth process, digestive system, reproductive system, and the response of the immune system, which is why too much cortisol release can become dangerous.
Tips to living a stress free/corticol-balanced lifestyle:
1. Make time for enjoyable activities
2. Identify the stressor: monitor your state of mind throughout the day, and write down when you're feeling stressed along with your thoughts and mood. From here develop a "way out," or a plan to prevent this from occurring often.
3. Build strong relationships: research shows that negative, hostile relations with your spouse, friends or family can cause immediate changes in stress-hormones. However, relationships can also act as stress-buffers.
4. Walk away when you're angry: re-group and count to 10, then reconsider how you are going to respond. Walking boosts Endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters, so when they say "walk away" it really is to calm you down! Try to commit to 30 minutes of daily exercise (walking, running, weight-bearing, yoga, Zumba, etc.)!
5. Rest your mind: stress keeps more than 40% of adults lying awake at night. To ensure 7-8 hours of sleep per day cut back on caffeine, remove distractions such as television and cell phones from your bedroom and go to bed around the same time each night. Yoga exercises also help reduce stress and boost immune functioning.
6. Get help: if you are too overwhelmed consult with a psychologist to help you manage your stress levels effectively.
Hair loss is so common that it affects nearly 50% of women, and a whopping 80% of men. No wonder the hair care has been the largest corporation of the beauty business!
FDA approved supplements:
For over-the-counter hair care, The Food and Drug Association (FDA) approval is not needed; therefore leaving the manufacturing company to make sure the product is "safe" for individuals and their scalps.
There has only been one FDA approved hair supplement sold over-the-counter proven to treat hair loss in both men and women –Minoxidil (Rogaine, Theroxidil, Re-Stim, and Re-Stim+) by stimulating hair growth and inhibiting hair from thinning. This supplement has been found to be effective in 2/3 men and 1/5 women, being most effective on those less than 40 years who have recently experienced hair loss.
Understand, the relationship between nutrients and hair loss is most often related to an underlying nutrient deficiency. Limited 2013 research shows that women with hair loss had wildly lower serum vitamin D levels compared to those not experiencing hair loss, and 2015 studies found a significant increase in the regrowth of hair after six months of omega-3 and 6, and antioxidant supplementation.
Common Causes of Hair Loss:
This B-vitamin is needed for all macronutrient metabolism, which makes it so detrimental to our nutrition. A deficiency in biotin can lead to a poor metabolism and undernourished hair follicles. Although research shows this deficiency can lead to severe hair loss, there is no evidence that shows biotin prevents hair loss.
Good food sources of Biotin include:
Overall, it is important to understand that this list of 14 proteins, vitamins, and minerals can all come from food items! If you feel you are having hair loss, try enhancing your diet with more nutrient-dense food items of all varieties, because you may be experiencing a nutrient deficiency.
Be full. Be fit. Be your own beautiful profit.
Is breakfast really the best meal of the day?
We’ve heard for years, “breakfast is the best meal of the day,” but why? According to Merriam-Webster, breakfast used to be defined as, "breaking the fast," but now according to Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is defined as, “breakfast is the first meal of the day that breaks the fast after the longest period of sleep and is consumed within two to three hours of waking; it is comprised of food or beverage from at least one food group and may be consumed at any location.” This definition was created to set better standards for the overall meal with differences in lifestyles. Of a 64 sampled group of RD’s, 82% said breakfast needs to have some solid food involved; whereas, 8% believed breakfast could be solely defined as a beverage and 28% believed a breakfast should have a minimum amount of calories ranging between 200 and 500 to be considered breakfast.
Personally, I fall in all three categories. I believe you can have a liquid beverage or a solid meal as long as you are consuming enough balanced macronutrients! If you have a smoothie with a banana and milk, no that is not considered breakfast, but if you add some spinach, yogurt, peanut butter, flax seed and avocado, yes that would be considered a nutrient dense breakfast!
Why is it so important to have breakfast within the first couple of hours of waking up?
Skipping breakfast has been seen in 15% of Americans with about 32% being young adult men. According to the American Heart Association, studies show strong evidence relating skipping breakfast to a greater risk of overweight, obesity, diabetes, CVD and hypertension. It is also associated with impaired glucose metabolism with a higher fasting glucose; thus, increasing hemoglobin A1C (the three month average of the glucose or sugar in our blood). Those who skip breakfast have been less likely to consume fewer nutrients throughout the day, which can end up in nutrient deficiencies.
From past experience, I would assume if you skip breakfast you would be likely to snack more often later in the day or have larger meals at lunch, and dinner, but according to several studies, breakfast skippers tend to not overcompensate with calories at later meals. From my dietetic knowledge, going about 16 (give or take) hours without eating, from after dinner, throughout the night and then skipping breakfast until lunch, I would say your body can go into starvation mode. This means that the body will use its lean muscle mass for energy because it is not getting glucose from food, which means it's storing more fat for later use. You also have to take into account if you begin over consuming at lunch and dinner as well as unhealthy snacks due to having more hunger cues, the body now has the extra stored fat, as well as the extra stored glucose from the overconsumption of macros; thus potentially leading to weight gain. BE CAREFUL!!
Tips to a healthy, nutrient dense breakfast
Be Full. Be Fit. Be Your Own Beautifull Profit.
Why is vitamin D good for the body? Vitamin D helps maintain Calcium and Phosphorous in the bones for proper mineralization. Vitamin D is also good for bone health, growth and remodeling by osteoclasts and osteoblasts. Osteoclast is a bone cell that absorbs and breaks down bone tissue allowing for the development of new bone. Osteoblast is a large cell that is responsible for bone formation and reformation. Our bones are constantly being broken down and re-built, which is why it is important to consume the correct amount of calcium and vitamin D to maintain proper bone growth. Vitamin D has other roles in the body as well, such as influencing cell growth, immunity and inflammation.
Where can I get vitamin D?
Daily intake is about 600 IU or 15 mcg
Not getting enough sunlight or vitamin D intake?
Even if you have a high amount of daily vitamin D intake, is important to know that if you are exclusively breastfeeding to provide your child with a vitamin D supplement!
Too much vitamin D from the sun cannot occur as the heat on the skin photodgrade's pre-vitamin D3 and vitamin D3, as well as produces various non-vitamin D forms, thus limiting vitamin D3 itself. Vitamin D toxicity from food itself is extremely unlikely, and is more likely to occur in long-term supplemental intake of 10,000+ IU/day.
Tolerable Upper Limit
This 4,000 IU daily intake is tolerable to most individuals, but will not cause any symptoms or toxicity.
Stay tuned for more information on fat-soluble vitamins and supplemental use of vitamins.