Avocado Deviled Eggs

        

8 hard-boiled eggs (add some baking soda to the water before boiling to help peel)

1 large ripe avocado

1-2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

¼ cup chopped white or green onion

¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro or parsley

2 Tbsp of hemp hearts (optional, works fine without if you don’t have any)

1 small lime, juiced, 2 Tbsp. reserved

¼ tsp cayenne

Pinch sea salt

Paprika

 

Remove shells from the hard-boiled eggs and slice lengthwise.  Carefully removing the yolk and place in a small/medium bowl

Add the avocado to the yolks and mash.  Mix in the tomato, onion, cilantro, hemp hearts, and 2 Tbsp. of lime juice, cayenne, and sea salt.  Give a taste test and if needed add a little more lime juice and salt.

Once you have the mixture to your taste, spoon into each egg white half, and sprinkle with paprika.  Serve with a

sprig of fresh cilantro.

Any extra mixture is great on crackers, chips, or as a veggie dip. Super fun for St. Patrick’s Day appetizers!

 

White Bean Chicken Chili

Super easy! Super delicious! You can swap out any type of bean you like. You can also use chicken breast
vs. thighs.

 

SERVES 6 -1 CUP PORTIONS

  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 Sweet Onion (medium, chopped)

  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper (seeded and chopped)

  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)

  • 2 Garlic (cloves, minced)

  • 1 1/2 tsps Cumin

  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder

  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

  • 3 cups Organic Chicken Broth (divided)

  • 3 cups White Navy Beans (cooked and divided)-may use canned

  • 1 lb Chicken Thighs (boneless, skinless)

  • 1/2 cup Frozen Corn

  • 1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro (chopped)

  • 1 Lime (sliced into wedges)

Optional for the less health conscious guests:
Corn chips, sour cream and/or shredded cheese.
Notes:
Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for later.
May omit the chicken and use extra beans.

 

PUTTING IT TOGETHER:

 

Heat oil in a large pot with a lid over medium-high heat.

Add onion, jalapeno and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft.

Add garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt and cook for another minute until
fragrant.

While vegetables are cooking, add a third of the stock and half of the beans
to a food processor or blender and blend to puree the beans.

Add the remaining stock and pureed beans to the pot and stir to combine.

Place the chicken in the pot, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low.

Cook at a slow gentle boil for 20 minutes and the chicken is cooked though.

Remove the cooked chicken thighs from the pot and carefully shred the
chicken with two forks.

Return the chicken and any juices back to the pot with the remaining beans, frozen corn kernels and cilantro. Stir to combine
and season with additional sea salt if needed.  Allow soup to cook for an
additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Divide the chili into bowls and serve with a lime wedge. Enjoy!

 

Healthy Holidays!

Is it just me?  Did the holiday’s used to start just a few weeks before Christmas and end right after the New Year?  Lately if feels like as soon as the Halloween candy is off the store shelves, the Christmas countdown is on!  I love the holiday season, the sights and smells and “doing for others”, but when you add up the indulgent meals, cocktails, parties, the stress of traveling, scheduling as well as the pressures of finding and paying for the perfect gift, it is hard to stay healthy (or sane) during this wonderful season…

So lets talk.  What can we do about it?

Support your immune system.

When our immune systems are challenged, we’re less likely to maintain overall health. Consequently, most of the things we splurge on during the holidays – alcohol, candy, pastries, processed foods, snacking, running around and staying out late – tax our bodies and hinder proper immune system functions.

The immune system is not like an organ that does a certain job. It is a complex series of pieces and parts that have to work together to in order to form your body’s total defense system.  Part of it is the glands in our neck/throat, armpits and all the other “pits” we have.  Part is the lymphatic system that removes toxic wastes (think back to the pits and how they squeeze to move fluids) It works with the veins that deliver oxygen in the blood throughout the body. Another part is in the small intestine, and yet another is in our bones. The thing you need to remember is that we need all of it to be properly nourished and cared for in order for the immune system to do what it is supposed to, support you in times of stress and prevent illness.

 

Common Immune Suppressors

  1. Sugar
  2. Alcohol
  3. Increase in quantity and decrease in quality food
  4. Not enough sleep
  5. Not enough water
  6. Not enough of sunlight
  7. Not enough exercise
  8. Stress

 

 

 

Health-wise, the best defense is a good offense.  Be prepared!

Here are a few ways to offset planned holiday indulgences

 

 

1. GET YOUR SLEEP ON

The late nights are one of the hardest things to deal with during the holiday season because we’re trying to accommodate events that are outside of our normal routine.

  • Make sure to include foods with healthy fats, such as organic nuts/seeds along with their oils, organic ghee or coconut oil, and responsibly sourced cold-water fish. Bonus:  pumpkin seeds are full of magnesium which helps you sleep better.
  • Start mega dosing on your vitamin C. You can take anywhere from 2,000 to 10,000 mcg. Remember to take it in divided doses through the day – vitamin C, and A, D, and K are water soluble, you’ll pee whatever you don’t absorb.
  • Ensure each of your 3 meals include a healthy fat (see above), a clean protein, and fiber (fruit and veggies).

 

2.  WATCH THE SUGAR

  • Be picky and don’t overdo it! Be selective about the sweet treats you indulge in and choose wisely. Choosing meaning ONE. You have my permission that if it doesn’t taste as good as it looks, leave it or toss it. I don’t care if it is any of the big 3 C’s:  Cake, Cookies or Cocktails!

 

  • Make something from scratch and use healthier sweeteners like honey (which has anti-bacterial properties as a bonus)

 

  • Cocktails are always optional. There has been quite a lot of discussion online the last few weeks about holiday events and alcohol. But honestly, you are the one that chooses.  No one cares if you are drinking soda water or champagne.  If someone does, re-evaluate the relationship.  IF you choose to drink, avoid the fancy fruity cocktails and stick with a simple red or white wine.  Alternating with big glasses of water helps to keep hydrated and keeps something in your hands.

 

  • Speaking of water: Drink a lot of it to stay hydrated. Sugar is actually dehydrating and can lead to more cravings. Make it pretty!  I love adding fresh herbs and berries to ice cubes.  Rosemary and cranberries look gorgeous!

 

3.  SHAKE, MOVE, DANCE

With the late nights and extra treats, energy levels drop.  This can make you want to skip your regular yoga class or hike in the mountains.  Don’t do it! Seriously, don’t.  Keep up with your normal

physical activities.  Invite a friend to take that class or join you in a snow shoe trek, or dance in your kitchen like no one is watching! (Yes, I do that😊) Now, even if you do stay up too late, and eat too much, your body will stay strong and it will be easier to get back into your regular (or new) healthy routine once the holidays are over.

4.  MANAGE YOUR STRESS

Stress just might have the greatest impact on your health out of everything.

Stress reducing tips:

  • Getting plenty of sleep.
  • Stay in control of your sugar intake
  • Learn to say no to any event that just doesn’t excite you!
  • Take a yoga class regularly
  • Don’t over commit yourself. You don’t have to attend every event you are invited too.
  • Sit quietly and just breathe for 10 minutes (aka meditation)

 

 

5.  KEEP UP YOUR REGULAR ROUTINE.

Don’t through your hands up and make the mistake of ending the year with a crazy, extravagant, do-what-you-please, no matter how bad it will make your feel mantra.  Stay on course.  Eat 3 balanced meals a day.  Plan and prepare your own food as much as you can.

Keep a normal schedule as often as possible.  Wake up, go to bed, eat, work and move like you normally do. Do your best, then let it go.

6.  COOK -YES YOU!

You all know I love to cook.  I think it is fun and extremely satisfying and even a little therapeutic.  I love trying new recipes. When I cook I focus on plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, gluten-free whole grains, good quality fats along with small portions of clean animal proteins.

The holidays are a great time for you to spend time in the kitchen having fun with the whole family and maybe even teaching the kiddos some new skills that they can use though the year.   Kids love eating what they help prepare.  There are great, healthy recipes available on the web that you can use to replace some less than nutritious holiday favorites.

7.  CONSCIOUS EATING

How we eat is as important as what we eat. when we eat due to stress or boredom, in the car, on the couch, at the desk, or simply not paying attention to what we are putting in our mouth, we’re more likely to overeat and feel awful.  Think about that bag of potato chips that all of a sudden is mysteriously empty….

Conscious eating just takes practice.  Slow down and pay attention to eat bite.  Smell it, taste it, savor it.  Likely you will feel more satisfaction and eat much less when you are aware that you are eating.  The last bite is never as satisfying as the first few.

Take time with your meals and enjoy the food and the company at the table.  Maybe use the holidays as an opportunity to invite your friends over for a homemade treat. The more awareness we bring to the what, where, when and why we are eating, the easier it is to develop life long healthy eating habits.

How to navigate a holiday party:

  • Again, drinking is ALWAYS optional! Cranberry/soda is easy and delicious. Add a sprig of Rosemary to make it festive.  BYOB can be BYO……  Bring what YOU want to drink and bring enough to share with like-minded guests.
  • Often your beverage is more popular than you would expect!
  • You’ve heard it before, I know. But eating a small, healthy snack before the party will help you navigate the party food and choose wisely.
  • Get just one small plate and fill it with a few consciously selected appetizers so you don’t end up grazing for hours on end.
  • Bring a dish you make at home to share.
  • Feel confident in asking what something is, or what it is made of. If it isn’t up to your healthier standards, pass it up or ‘deconstruct’ it before you eat it.  Think removing frosting, or getting the sauce on the side or not at all.
  • Choose the lighter desserts – fruit or a cookie or small piece of one you want to try. Remember you don’t have to eat it all.  A little bite will do ya.
  • Share dessert with a friend, or split an entree.
  • Drink WATER, alone or between alcoholic beverages.
  • Remember that every choice will have a result. Will your choice move you toward or away from your desired result?
  • Cleanliness is so important in staying healthy! Germs spread! Keep your hands washed and away from your face.
  • Rest before the party. When you are tired, you are at risk for getting off the healthy train track.

My easy go-to for healthy recipes is Clean Eating Magazine- online too!

What is your favorite holiday treat?  Want help in cleaning it up?  Drop me a line!

Lisa Turan

NC, CNE, ERYT

970-531-2274

 

Basic Chia Pudding

 

Chia pudding is an easy make ahead choice for breakfast.  The texture is like tapioca pudding. Chia seeds are packed with antioxidants, which support healthy skin. Ounce to ounce, they contain more omega-3’s than salmon. These fatty acids help the body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and studies have shown them to be heart protective by lowering blood pressure and inflammation. Adding variety to your pudding is easy.  Use what you have, play with your spices. Swap the cinnamon and ginger for cacao (not cocoa) powder or vanilla.  You can also add a little Great Lake’s Collagen powder to up the nutritional benefits.

Ingredients to make 4 servings

 

3/4 cup chia seeds

4 cups homemade almond or plant milk

2 tablespoons pure and organic maple syrup

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup dried fruit (optional)

1/2 cup raw unsalted nuts (optional)

1 tbsp. mini chocolate chips (optional)

Sliced banana, kiwi, strawberries, or any fruit of choice for serving

**Single Servings:

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup almond milk

1-2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground ginger

 

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the chia seeds, almond milk, maple syrup, cinnamon, and ginger. Add dried fruit and nuts, if you choose. The mixture starts out runny.
  2. Carefully Pour into four (12 ounce) airtight glass mason jars (I always have to wipe down the sides) Put into the fridge for a few hours if you can’t wait, or overnight to allow pudding to thicken. Top with fresh fruit or more nuts and serve cold.

 

Note: Keep refrigerated for about 4 days, but I wouldn’t store it much longer than that, since we made our own almond milk, which will spoil faster without all the chemical preservatives.

 

Carrots, are they still okay to eat?

I recently came across this interesting tip from the World’s Healthiest Foods website, one of my favorite places to lose a few hours! – http://whfoods.org/

Many of us have seen a whitish type coating that often forms on peeled carrots—especially those baby bullet shaped carrots—called “white blush.”

DID YOU KNOW when carrots are peeled, the process of peeling takes away the outer protective layer of the carrot root? Without this protective layer, the carrot becomes more easily dehydrated. The carrot helps to protect itself from damage following the loss of its outermost layer by creating a new protective layer of phenols. This new phenol-based layer contributes to the appearance of the “white blush.” If you immersed the carrots in water the carrot cells can absorb some of the moisture that has been lost after peeling.  This rehydration also helps restore its orange color. I personally am not a fan of peeling carrots and losing some of the extra nutrition you get from the peel, but at least we know that the “white blush” on carrots is a natural and protective response to dehydration rather than a reason to think they are bad and ready for the garbage (or compost pile).

 

Did you know? Vitamin C is easily damaged by heat and air?

Vitamin C is damaged by heat and air.  What does that mean to me, and why do I care?  Well, first of all we are coming up on cold and flu season.  It’s a common practice of drinking orange juice to boost the immune system. Many people load up on fizzy C loaded drink packets.  Not many of us know how much we need or how much we are actually getting.  The problem is that when commercial orange juice is produced it goes through a process of pasteurization (it is heated).  So much of the vitamin C that was in there is gone by the time it hits your glass.

A similar process happens when we cut or peel our produce.  If left exposed to air the nutrients begin to degrade.  A cucumber, nicely sliced and left standing will lose 49% of it’s Vitamin C in just 3 hours.  Did you know that cucumber is a great source of Vitamin C?  A cut up cantaloupe uncovered and stored in the refrigerator will lose 35% of it’s C in just 1 day.

There are many fresh and delicious sources of Vitamin C.  Red bell peppers, Kale, parsley, broccoli, papaya, strawberries, and kiwi.  Its not just oranges, lemons and limes!  A great resource to look at to see what is in your healthy foods is www.whfoods.com.  It is very user friendly!

If you just feel a little run down this season, or if you think you need a boost to your immune system here are a few quick and easy tips:

  1. Eliminate the junk.  No gas station food, no fast food or junk food.
  2. Eat real, whole foods.  Cut and juice your own oranges, lemons or limes and drink it fresh!

    Two halves of orange in a wooden bowl with uncut oranges and a glass of orange juice in the background
  3. Stay hydrated by drinking  1/2 of your weight in daily ounces of pure, clean water.
  4. If you feel you want or need to supplement your diet with some extra vitamin C choose the best one for you.

Vitamin C supplementation comes in many forms

  • Ascorbic acid- this is the cheapest
  • With bioflavonoids, in amounts equal to or more than the Vitamin C to help increase the absorption by the body.
  • Buffered- has added minerals including Magnesium, Calcium, and Potassium to be easier on the stomach for those that are sensitive.

Vitamin C is important not only to support the adrenals and immune systems, but it is a powerful antioxidant.  It is supportive to conditions like asthma, cancer, diabetes and wound healing.

 

 

 

 

 

Sugars and Diabetes

 

NATURAL SWEETENERS AND DIABETES

Have you been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes or Type II Diabetes?  Do you have a sweet tooth?

It doesn’t need to be overwhelming as to what you should and shouldn’t do to manage your glucose levels.  Knowledge is power!

Even natural sugars like coconut, honey, and date sugar can and do create spikes in blood sugar.  The good news is that they are less processed and retain some nutrients.  Whole organic fruit is always going to be the best choice because it contains fiber and is processed by nature.

When we consume sugar the body tells the pancreas to produce insulin to move the sugar out of the blood.  When there is too much, the body stores it as fat.  Sugar is addictive. Comparisons have been made between sugar and cocaine.  This leads to excessive consumption and increased risk of diabetes.

For those with Diabetes consuming food with lots of fiber, in addition to clean quality fat and protein helps slow the absorption of sugar into the blood.

Guide to natural sugars

Stevia

Stevia is a no-calorie, natural sweetener extracted from the stevia leaf.    

It is 250 times sweeter than sugar and keeps cravings heightened.  It is not an easy swap in baking because the extreme sweetness in a small quantity make it difficult to determine effective ratios.

There are no calories. It doesn’t affect blood sugar or insulin response, so it’s a good option for diabetics. (ADA, 2013)  Purchase only pure, organic stevia.

Coconut Sugar-

Sometimes called coconut palm sugar, it’s a natural sweetener made from the sap of coconut trees. It is similar to a dry brown sugar. It is used in equal parts to white sugar.

Coconut sugar is a bit healthier than white sugar because it is less processed. It tastes like a sweet, earthy, coconut. It still contains a significant amount of fructose, which can raise insulin resistance and aggravate blood sugar imbalance if used excessively.

Raw, organic,  and un-pastured honey

 This is honey that has not been heated or filtered.  Purchase from the jar, not the bear.

It has less glucose and fructose than white sugar.  It has a lower immediate impact on raising blood glucose.  Raw honey doesn’t have or need any preservatives.  This is one food that will never expire!  Raw is considered to have greater nutrient density. Studies have shown that type 2 diabetics consuming honey improved lipids, body weight and long-term blood sugar levels. (dietsvsdisease.org, 2016)  It has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

In baking, only use 1/4 cup raw honey for every one cup of sugar.

Maple sweeteners-

 These are made from maple tree sap.  The sugar and tastes similar to maple syrup.  Maple sugar has a similar look and to a dry, light brown sugar.  Pure organic maple syrup is simple-tapped straight from the tree.  These options can be easily incorporated into baking, by reducing the amount of syrup to about ½ compared to sugar.

These contains manganese, iron, and calcium.  These sweeteners have a slower and lower effect on blood sugar than regular sugar.

Date sugar

This is a good one nutrition wise.  Date sugar is made by taking dried dates and grinding them into a fine powder.  This can be made at home in a blender pretty easily.

This sugar retains the healthy antioxidants from the date.

It tends to clump and doesn’t melt.  It is very sweet, so a little goes a long way.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References
ADA. (2013, October 2). Retrieved from Diabetes.org: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/glycemic-index-and-diabetes.html?
Association, A. D. (2014, May). Glycemic Index and Diabetes. Retrieved from American Diabetes Association: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/glycemic-index-and-diabetes.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
Diabetes.org. (2014, May 14). Retrieved from www.diabetes.org: http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/understanding-carbohydrates/sugar-alcohols.html
dietsvsdisease.org. (2016, November 16). Retrieved from dietsvsdisease.org: http://www.dietvsdisease.org/can-diabetics-eat-honey/
Ed Bauman, M.Ed., Ph.D. and Jodi Friedlander, N.C. (2013). Therapeutic Nutrition. Pengrove: Bauman College.

 

 

 

Kitchen Nutrition – 5 Simple Time Saving Tips

I believe that eating whole foods, and cooking meals from scratch, are the best ways to support our health and our environment.  It’s important.  We only get one body to live in and we only have one planet to live on.  The problem? Cooking from scratch is perceived as time-consuming when in reality it can be easy.  It’s all about what we decide is important enough to give our valuable time to.  A little shift in perspective can help cooking become enjoyable.   These tips are simple, and some of them take a little time on the front end, but the final results are so worth it!

1. Use basic or familiar recipes 
There are times when it’s really fun to hang out in the kitchen creating a fancy 6 course meal – but not when you get home at 7 pm after a long day.  If you stick to simple recipes that are nourishing, filing, delicious, and won’t leave you feeling “less than optimal”.  There are a ton of them online and you can choose the number of ingredients you are comfortable with as well as the amount of time you have to spend.  You can also clean up a familiar recipe by swapping out unhealthy ingredients for a clean alternative.  Ditch the vegetable oil and replace with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  Combine your chosen protein  (meat, fish, beans, (tofu anyone?)) with a favorite raw, roasted or steamed vegetable.  I often choose whatever is on hand that needs to be eaten.  Add some flavor with with fresh squeezed citrus , sea salt, or my favorite “SPIKE” brand seasoning.  Add a good healthy clean fat, like Extra Virgin Olive oil, coconut oil, or sliced avocado.  Vitamins A, D, E, and K need some fat to be absorbed and utilized by the body. Each meal ideally containing a clean protein, some good quality fat, and fiber (veggies). Eating real whole food, just not too much. Pay attention to when you are getting full and stop while you are ahead.

2. Ask family members for help.
Whoever came up with the rule that one person, usually one parent,  always gets stuck with the decision as to what to have for dinner AND and the responsibility of getting the meal to the table on time? Probably not someone who has ever been delegated to the task!  Ask your kids, partners, spouses, or friends to help you.  Play some music, talk about your day, ask each other questions! Group effort will complete the prepping and chopping (and cleaning up) in no time at all. This is a great tip that will also help teach the kiddos valuable cooking skills.  Kids tend to eat what they help prepare!

3. Plan a few days of meals in advance and save them.
Healthy eating is easier when you have a plan in place to make it happen – This is hands down one of the best things I learned at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.  A meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack is helpful, but if you’re new to meal planning, start off with creating a menu for dinners (or lunches) only. Chart your meals for the week (you can even plan to make extra and have the leftovers for the next day) and include any recipes you’ll need. Sometimes it is helpful to just do a few days at a time vs. a whole week.  Cross reference your plan and make a shopping list. You can create a personal and customized shopping list from a word or excel “list” template, or create a handwritten notebook of meal plans.

In a few weeks, you will have a good little tool box full of meal plans and all you’ll need to do is pull one out, pick up the ingredients from your already complete shopping list and start cooking. The more you repeat meal plans in your rotation, the easier it is.   This gets pretty quick and easy with practice. Don’t get discouraged the first few tries.

4. Create a prep schedule.
A prep schedule allows you to implement your menu plan efficiently.  For each recipe, write down the ingredients, how they need to be prepped (sliced, chopped, diced, soaked, etc.). Next, assign someone in your family to complete that task and decide when they need to do it.   Repeat meals, a soup for lunch on Monday can become a side for baked chicken dinner the next night.  In my house, I am the Queen of my kitchen and meal planning and prep, but I still enlist some help.  Example: Sunday afternoon: Lisa: wash, dice, and store celery, carrots, and onion. Sunday eve: Scott: remove (elk, chicken, or? ) from freezer to thaw, choose between rice or sweet potato.

5. Pick a prep day.

I get it. The whole idea can feel overwhelming and impossible.  I promise, with practice, you will be able to do this in about an hour.  Time spent prepping will save you several hours over the course of your week. The majority of the work in cooking is cleaning chopping, cleaning again, and not the cooking itself.  Save time and effort during the week by doing some of the prep work on the weekend. This way, come Monday, all you’ll need to do is assemble and cook and dinnertime will happen so much easier.

  1. Chopping produce in sizes according to what’s needed for chosen recipes. Storing them according to how they will be used and in proper quantities throughout the week.
  2. Washing and cutting the produce right when you get home from the store. This way you only have to clean up once. YEAH!
  3. Cooking larger batches of rice or other grains, beans and soups to use throughout the week.
  4. Cutting up veggies for snacks. If a bowl of bite sized fruit and veggies is front and center when you open the fridge, they get eaten!
  5. Making a few recipes ahead of time to have for dinners during the week.  You can also assemble and freeze a few meals, to pull out in a pinch.  Just remember to label what they are and date it.  Placing it in the freezer according to the date (oldest up front) is also helpful.

Planning meals and menus and working them into a busy family schedule can take a couple of hours until you are used to it. When the whole family gets involved, it can be a fun way to spend a little more quality and healthy time together.

New Year’s Resolutions: 2017

Let’s make this 2017 different. Let’s do this for real. Let’s commit to something that is realistic, personal, really worthwhile and attainable! Improving your health!

The is one thing I would like you to know before you decide to “go on another diet” as your 2017 New Year’s Resolution:

YOUR METABOLISM IS NOT A CALCULATOR!! It is not a chemistry set, and it doesn’t know what raising a gram of water 1 degree means…. (this is the actual definition of a caloric unit) This measurement is used to measure the energy released by food during digestion. It doesn’t take into account the quality of the food, whether or not there is any nutrient value to the food or the strength or weakness of digestion.

Counting calories, cutting out carbs or fat doesn’t work. Doing this and expecting the body to respond in a linear & predictable manner is pointless. It may work for a short while, but how many times do we want short term results?

This approach often causes the metabolism to be a little “irritated.” Irritated as in it starts to hold on to everything you eat because you’ve sent it into a state of panic. It does not work and science has proven it over and over again. 95% of people who follow this approach regain the weight and 66% end up even heavier. And the number on the scale is honestly not the best measure of health anyway. Having a body that is well nourished and strong and is able to carry you through your life’s activities with energy and vitality IS!

In order to get real results, you have to understand how YOUR body really works. This is a continuous learning process. Each of us are individuals with unique genetic dispositions and histories. Every part of who you are needs to come to the table to make your nutritional program complete. Pay attention to how you feel when you eat well. Pay attention to how you feel when you eat junk. Be mindful and eat consciously.

Three Simple Ways to improve your health this year:
1. Take the time to read labels, not only the nutritional label, but the ingredient list. Ingredients are foods and spices. This is not a place for chemicals. If you don’t know what it is, where it comes from or how to pronounce it, toss those “food substances” out!

2. Commit to choosing real, whole, unprocessed food. Plan your meals. This is the way to nourish your body and not just eat whatever is convenient.

3. Move your body. Grand County offers so many great winter activities. Try something new. Keep going until you find the ones you love. Snowshoe, ski, ice skating, spin class, Pilates, kick-boxing, and YOGA of course!

Nutrition Tips, Tricks & Myth Busters

One of my favorite things about being a Holistic Nutrition Consultant is being able to share what I know with others. I love introducing people to what they can create in their own kitchens. Everything you eat is a choice. Everything you eat has a consequence. It will either build your health or contribute to disease. Eating for your health doesn’t have to be painful. Cooking and creating good healthy meals can not only be fun, but delicious! Each one of us is different. There truly is not a one-size-fits-all diet. It just takes a little time and your attention to figure out what works best for you and your body.

Here are a few tricks, tips, and myth-busters to get you started looking and feeling your best.

Myth #1: You need a kitchen full of fancy and expensive equipment to prepare healthy meals.

Truth is the only special tool you need is a basic blender.

Myth #2: You can’t afford to eat healthy.

The truth is that you either spend the money now on good clean ingredients or you will spend it down the road at the DR.’s office. There are simple ways to save money at the grocery store. Stop buying the processed and nutrient deficient food items. If your cart isn’t full of Doritos, white bread, and soda, you’ll have more to spend in the produce isle. Even better, you will feel better when you remove those “food” items from your diet.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Eat real, whole, food in their natural state, or at least as close as possible to its natural state. Nature doesn’t use wrappers. Use whole grains instead of those processed and bleached into flour. Eat the whole fruit and not just the juice. You need the fiber to slow down the impact on your blood sugar.
  2. Eat your vegetables either raw or lightly steamed to retain the nutrients.
  3. Swap out your white pasta with brown rice pasta (Tinkyada brand holds together the best).
  4. Choose wild caught fish over farm raised. Farmed fish often has added food coloring to make it look better.
  5. Choose clean high quality fat every day. Raw nuts and seeds, extra virgin cold pressed oils and avocado are good choices.
  6. Simplify your meals. Not only does it make meal prep faster, studies have shown that we eat less when there isn’t such a wide variety available at a meal. (Remember what happens at a buffet?) Choose just one dense food, like chicken, eggs, or pasta. Then fill the rest of the plate with non-starchy veggies. Read non-starchy as leafy greens! You can have a nice quality meat with a great salad or steamed vegetable and then skip the potato and/or bread.
  7.  Quality of food rules quantity. There is a reason that you can eat an entire bag of chips and not feel full. If you choose wisely you will be providing your body with the nutrition it needs instead of dumping empty calories in and still needing more.