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Holistically Fed BLOG

How and Why You Should Soak Your Oats

Do you regularly consume cereal grains like oatmeal for breakfast? If so, if I told you there was a simple way to improve not only the nutritional value of this warm classic breakfast but also its digestibility, would you do it?

While grains are not tolerated well by everyone, for those that can eat them, this one simple step that I want to talk to you about today, will help break down anti-nutrients and hard to digest components of the grain and at the same time, increase highly beneficial nutrients making it a much more nutrient dense food!

With a toddler in our home, oatmeal has become one of our favorite go-to breakfasts, so making it as nutrient dense as possible for her and I is very important to me since we consume it pretty regularly.

The way that you do this is by soaking the grains.

This process may sound intimidating at first if this is a new concept to you, but I promise you it is SO simple if you can just remember to plan ahead. Honestly that is the hardest part.

If you haven’t been able to tolerate grains before, you may experiment and find that you can add certain grains back in to your diet after adding in this one simple step of preparation. I will only be showing you how to properly prepare oats today, but if you want to learn more about how to properly prepare all grains, I recommend reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon or reading more on this on the Weston A. Price Foundation site.

Why should I soak my grains?

All grains and legumes contain an anti-nutrient called phytic acid. The problem with phytic acid is that it binds important vitamins and minerals and prevents your body from fully absorbing them. If not careful, an overconsumption of foods that contain a high amount of phytic acid may result in mineral deficiencies, specifically zinc, iron, phosphorus and magnesium. They also contain enzyme inhibitors. Enzymes are what help our body to digest the foods that we eat. In other words, grains and legumes are resisting being digested.

But why??

By nature’s design, grains and legumes do NOT want to be digested! That’s right! Grains are one of the hardest foods to digest, it not properly prepared.

Why is that?

Well, grains are really just seeds. Seeds are designed to grow in to a plant, but will only do this under the perfect conditions (good soil, water, air and sunlight). Until it is under these perfect conditions, it will resist digestion in order to be passed out the other end after being consumed (think in nature when animals consume seeds) to then hopefully land on good soil and be watered and nurtured by fresh rain air and sunlight to grow into whatever plant it was destined to be!

Interestingly, traditional societies took great care to soak or ferment their grains before consuming them as porridges, breads and casseroles, something our modern culture has moved away from for the sake of convenience. This traditional practice essentially aims to mimmick the watering process of seeds in nature which neutralizes vitamin and mineral binding phytic acid as well as enzyme inhibitors. The end product being a much more easy to digest food that provides vitamins and minerals your body can actually absorb!

So How Do I Soak My Oats?

If you desire to up the nutrient density and digestibility of your classic oatmeal breakfast, here is how you do it! It really is so simple.

The key in releasing important nutrients from grains is to activate phytase. Phytase is a natural enzyme that is present in varying degrees within grains, seeds and nuts. When it is activated, it helps to break down phytic acid (what binds important vitamins and minerals and prevents them from being absorbed). Soaking grains in a warm acid medium like apple cider vinegar will activate phytase and help to greatly reduce the amount of phytic acid. Oats unfortunately have a very low amount of phytase  (the enzyme that helps break down the phytic acid), so, soaking in warm water with an acid medium will not be enough on its own to adequately reduce the amount of anti-nutrients that naturally occur.

Because of this, it will be important to add another grain that IS high in phytase to your oats before you soak them and let them soak for approximately 24 hours.

You can do this by following the following formula:

  • Set your alarm to do all of this the morning before you wish to eat it. Trust me, if you don’t do this, you will forget and keep putting off this simple step because you just simply forget to do it until its too late and you don’t have a long enough time to let it soak. Just mix it all together while your preparing breakfast for that morning or right after you get done cleaning up the dishes for that mornings breakfast.
  • For every 1 cup of oats (ideally certified gluten free), add enough warm water to cover the oats
  • Add two teaspoons of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • Add 1 Tablespoon of buckwheat groats (these are very high in phytase which is what will help break down the phytic acid in your oats)
  • Soak for 24 hours at room temperature. Just cover your with a towel and let it sit on your counter until the next morning.
  • Once soaking time is complete, drain oats in a fine mesh strainer and gently rinse
  • Transfer your soaked and rinsed oats to a pot on the stove and cook how you normally would and add your favorite toppings!

I recommend mixing in a good healthy source of fat like grass fed butter or coconut oil, some collagen for added protein and gut support, raw unfiltered honey and fresh berries with a dash of cinnamon! This is my personal favorite way to dress it up and add even more nutritional value.

Enjoy!

 

5 Books That Inspired My Healthy Lifestyle Change

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“If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

I use this quote often when coaching my clients. If we are to see BIG change in our nations health (which is absolutely necessary, just look around), we HAVE to start thinking this way. As health practitioners, personal trainers, nutrition practitioners, etc.. we have to start coaching our clients with this in mind. At some point they need to feel confident and empowered that they can take control of their own health and not always feel like they have to rely on us to tell them what to do! Isn’t that the point?

One way we can empower them to do this is to continue to educate themselves.

I believe one of the best ways to do this is to read. While you may not always agree with ALL of the information in every book out there on nutrition and health, and the information provided may not even help every single person, there is something about exposing yourself to knew information that allows you to see something different than what you are familiar with. It challenges you to think about things differently than you may have always thought about them before. It provides options you may have not always known you even had!

In fact, my own personal journey towards better health started with reading and then experimenting on myself with the new information I was absorbing. Until I started reading more about nutrition and health, I just went with what I knew. I wasn’t challenged to think any differently about what I knew and believed to be healthy was my whole life. It opened up a whole new world to me and has changed my life forever in regards to how I take care of my body and the foods that I choose to put in it. Reading new books focussed on health and nutrition is what ultimately led me to eventually further my education in this area as I realized how passionate I was about this topic by simply opening up a book, that led to wanting to open up another book and then another..

So, with that being said, I wanted to share with you all a few books that have been extremely helpful and eye opening to me along my health journey. My hope is they will inspire you to make a complete lifestyle change like they have for me, or at least get you thinking differently than you did before, because sometimes, this is the first step.

What are some of your favorite health and nutrition books you would recommend for others looking to make a lifestyle change?

Green Tea Matcha Collagen Latte

In a previous post, I shared with you all my review on a new protein powder I recently tried, ‘Naked Whey’. The verdict was that I loved it and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a high quality whey protein powder.  You can read the full post here on all of the reasons why I would recommend it including what to look for in a protein supplement so that you don’t waste your money!

While I love ‘Naked Whey’ for the creaminess and added protein boost that it gives my smoothies, it is not as versatile as one of my other absolute FAVORITE protein supplements, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It ensures the cohesion, elasticity and regeneration of all of our connective tissues including our skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and even our bones. It also helps provide structure to our hair and nails.

Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides is more of a daily supplement for me for all of the wonderful health benefits that it provides. What makes it so versatile is the fact that it dissolves in both cold AND hot liquids. This makes it super easy to add to your morning coffee or tea, which I personally do pretty much every morning! Whey protein will not dissolve into hot liquids due to its chemical structure making it a better option for a protein boost to smoothies or post workout drinks.

I wrote a whole post on the benefits of collagen here if you’re interested in learning more so I won’t go into all those details in this post.

I personally have used Vital Proteins unflavored collagen peptides for a couple of years now and LOVE it. However, they recently rolled out a new product that I am so excited to share with you all! They have combined the numerous health benefits of collagen with the antioxidant powerhouse, matcha green tea to make matcha collagen.

Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen 3

The matcha green tea used in this product is sourced from the Nishio, Aichi, Kyoto regions of Japan and is one of the highest quality food grade matcha’s available, making this a true superfood when combined with collagen.

You can read more on the health benefits of this superfood in a post on Vital Proteins site here.

If you’re a fan of green tea matcha latte’s like I am, I think you will enjoy my personal FAVORITE way to use matcha collagen below.

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen
  • 1/4 cup filtered hot water
  • 1 cup choice of milk (I personally use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of grass-fed butter
  • 1-3 teaspoons 100% pure maple syrup depending on desired sweetness

Instructions:

  1. Boil filtered water in a tea pot over the stove, then pour 1/4 cup of the boiling water over 1 scoop of Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen in a cup. Stir to combine well with a fork.
  2. In a separate pot over the stove, warm the milk, butter and maple syrup over medium high heat until it starts to slightly boil.
  3. Pour the matcha mixture into the pot and stir to combine with the milk mixture.
  4. In order to froth your drink, you will now need to either pour everything into a blender and pulse for 10-20 seconds or, pour back into your coffee mug and use a frother until you see a nice foamy texture appear. This step is definitely necessary for a coffee shop worthy drink in the comfort of your own home!
  5. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naked Whey Protein Review

While I am a proponent of eating protein in whole food form over supplements, there is benefit to finding and having high quality protein powders to have on hand.

For me, in the busy season of life that I am in as a mom to a 2 year old and 5 month old, convenience is nice when it comes to getting in the nutrition that I need throughout the day. However, I never want quality to be compromised for the sake of convenience. So, when I am looking for a protein powder to have on hand to throw in a quick smoothie for an easy morning breakfast or lunch on those busy days, there are specific things that I am looking to avoid.

The same should apply for anyone. Quality matters when it comes to choosing a protein powder, no matter what your goals are. So, wether your goal is to have a quick convenient source of protein to have on hand as a busy mom, or to improve your performance in the gym, make sure to look for and avoid the following things. Otherwise, you are wasting your money.

Things I Recommend Avoiding in Protein Powders:

  • artificial sweeteners or colors
  • Gluten and Soy
  • GMO’s
  • Growth Hormones
  • Processed proteins that include isolates and hydrolyzed proteins
    • Certain isolates and hydrolyzed proteins contain denatured proteins. Denatured proteins are proteins that have been broken down. The original chemical structure of the protein is changed permanently and important immune enhancing factors are lost.

Other things I look for

  • If it is sourced from an animal..was it raised naturally without any added hormones and was it fed its natural diet?
    • Ex: if protein is sourced from a cow, was it 100% grassfed? Corn and soy are not the natural diet of a cow and the nutritional byproduct of a cow fed this diet vs. its natural diet will be COMPLETLY different!
  • How was the protein processed? I’m looking for it to be processed at low-temperature. This will most often be described as cold pressed and also undenatured.
    • High heat processing will destroy a majority of important immune enhancing factors like immunoglobulins and lactoferrin.

I was fortunate to have Naked Whey reach out to me to try their Whey Protein Powder and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint. The ingredients and way that this product was processed met all of my expectations listed above. What I love most about this product, on top of its high quality ingredients, is that it doesn’t have a flavor, which means I can add it to the base of any smoothie or cold beverage that I like for an added protein boost.

 

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Whey protein may not be appropriate for all people as it is a by product of dairy, but if you tolerate dairy well, there are wonderful health benefits in a high quality whey supplement.

Benefits That Stand Out, But are not Limited To:

  • Boost Glutathione: Glutathione is the master antioxidant that is found in every cell of your body. The way whey protein boosts glutathione is with its high levels of cysteine, an amino acid that is needed for the synthesis of glutathione in the body. Benefits of glutathione include scavenging for free radicals as well as reactivating other antioxidants, boosting the immune system, plays a role in DNA repair as well as the detoxification process that neutralizes drugs, chemicals, radiation, metabolic wastes and other toxins and carcinogens. Glutathione in supplement form is unfortunately poorly absorbed, so it is beneficial to find other ways to boost it in your body and including whey protein in your diet is one way to do that. (1, 2 )
  • Boots the Immune System:  Because whey protein increases glutathione in the body, it naturally will boost the immune system as well. While glutathione is the master antioxidant in the body, whey protein also boosts the efficacy of other important antioxidants in the body like vitamin C, CoQ10 and Vitamin E. L-Arginine and L-lysine are also important amino acids found in whey protein that are known to promote immune function. (1)
  • Helps Heal the Gut: Whey protein contains the amino acid L-glutamine, which helps heal the fast-growing epithelial cells of the gastrointestinal tract. This is especially important for anyone suffering from leaky gut. (Therapeutic Nutrition Part Two by Ed Bauman, .Ed., Ph.D. & Jodi Friedlander, N.C.)

Like I mentioned before, whey protein may not be appropriate for everyone, especially if you are intolerant to dairy products. If that is the case for you, opting for a goat whey protein may serve you better as it is much easier to digest and contains less lactose. If that’s the case, Naked Whey also makes a Goat Whey so you are in luck! I just have not tried it myself so I cannot vouch for the flavor, but the quality looks the same! They also sell a wide variety of other high quality plant based protein powders.

You can shop all of their protein products HERE! Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

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As a nursing mama, I love to have something quick and healthy to grab first thing when I wake up in the morning.

Having something to grab first thing in the morning after that early morning feeding holds me over until I have time to make a bigger breakfast for both my toddler and I when she wakes up a couple hours later.

While that something quick doesn’t necessarily have to be in the form of a muffin, it definitely makes the early hours a little bit more bearable knowing I have a delicious muffin waiting for me after little man is done eating. I am usually STARVING right after that.

Even if you aren’t nursing, these muffins are great for anyone needing a quick grab and go breakfast or would make a great snack. They are gluten free, dairy free and paleo friendly! If you have any nut allergies, these muffins would be good without the nuts as well.

I adapted an original recipe from Elana’s Pantry just slightly to create a healthy version of my all time favorite muffin/bread recipe combo, chocolate chip and banana’s.

Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

Makes approximately 8 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 3 dates, pitted and soaked in warm water until soft and mushy
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Dairy Free chocolate chips (If you’re a local to the Paris area, you can find these at Kroger and also at the Wellness Center of Paris)

Directions:

  1. Place eggs, oil, bananas, dates and sugar in a medium bowl. Blend with whisk until combined well.
  2. Add in coconut flour, salt and baking soda and blend until smooth
  3. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips
  4. Scoop batter into greased or lined muffin tins
  5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes
  6. Cool and serve!

 

My Go To Natural Remedies When Common Cold/Flu Symptoms Strike

As sickness seems to continue to be passed around this time of year, I wanted to write a post to share with you all my ‘Go-To’ natural remedies when common cold and flu symptoms strike.

The remedies that I will be sharing with you are most likely things you have right in your kitchen already, and if not, most of them are simple ingredients you can grab at your local grocery store.

There are a lot of natural remedies in the form of expensive supplements. Many of these are also very beneficial in helping the body fight off illness, but I have found that it is nice to have a more affordable option that is easily accessible if you don’t have the time to order supplements online and wait for them to be delivered, or you don’t have access to good quality supplements locally.

At the end of this post, I will also be sharing with you a few other  things that I do on a regular basis to boost my immune system and help prevent illness.

My top 3 ‘Go-To’ Natural Remedies When Common Cold/Flu Symptoms Strike

Raw Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar

Quite frankly there’s not much I have discovered that apple cider vinegar does not help with. This is something that would be beneficial to drink daily for immune and general wellness support. When it comes to illness however, it specifically is beneficial for the fact that it has natural antiviral, anti fungal and antibacterial properties. I’ve written a few posts on this in the past you can check out here and here. It’s important that you purchase raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother. Buying regular filtered apple cider vinegar will not have the same healing properties. Bragg’s is a good brand I recommend.

For daily support: take 1 tsp. up to 1 T. straight (preferably with something to chase it with as it does give a strong punch to the throat), diluted in water or mixed into any of your other favorite beverages.

When sickness strikes:  take 1 tsp. up to 1 T. every 3-4 hours until symptoms improve.

Garlic and Raw Unfiltered Honey

I heard about this remedy listening to a podcast (unfortunately I don’t remember which one to give credit to) a long time ago and added it into my regimen when sickness strikes ever since.

Garlic, like apple cider vinegar, also has powerful antimicrobial, antiviral and antibiotic properties. It also is a good source of vitamin C, and important immune boosting minerals such as sulphur and selenium.

How to use garlic for cold/flu symptoms: Take one whole garlic clove and crush it either with the back of a spoon or a garlic press. This step is important before you consume it because of the chemical reaction that takes place. When garlic is crushed, it releases a powerful antibacterial called allicin. Allicin is present only shortly after it is crushed and before the garlic is heated, which means you will need to eat the clove raw! When you eat it in its raw state like this, it will really help knock out the terrible symptoms associated with the onset of any common cold or flu.

Don’t think you can handle chewing on a raw piece of garlic? That’s where raw honey comes in. While this really is meant to serve as a carrier to make this a more palatable way to get the garlic down, raw unfiltered honey also has its own immune boosting properties as well. Just like everything else I’ve already mentioned it also has natural antibacterial, anti fungal and antioxidant properties! So you’re body is getting a mega dose of all of these when taken in combination from real whole food sources.

Just pour enough honey to coat the piece of garlic and then consume.

Recommendation: take 1 crushed garlic clove every 3-4 hours until symptoms improve.

Elderberry Syrup

This is probably my favorite of the three, but is one that unfortunately you may not be able to find at your local grocery store. It definitely tastes the best which makes it easier to get kiddos to take too if they are sick.  This is another great one to take as a daily immune support throughout the winter months.

I wrote a post all about elderberry as a natural cold/flu remedy awhile back so I won’t go into all the details of the benefits in this post, but you can go read it here!

I personally buy elderberry concentrate from Booth’s Brew and make it into a syrup myself. In my post on elderberry I also talk about why it  may be more beneficial for you to turn it into a syrup if you buy it as a concentrate.

 

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Daily support: take 1 tsp. – 1 T. daily

When sickness strikes: take 1 tsp. – 1 T. every 3-4 hours until symptoms improve.

I personally choose to do all three of these things when cold/flu symptoms hit me, but you don’t necessarily have to. Choosing to do just one of these will also most likely serve you well.

Other Ways to Support Your Immune System

While its nice to have some ‘Go-To’ natural remedies when illness strikes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to take care of your body on a DAILY basis. Yes, of course, we inevitably all get sick from time to time, but preventative medicine is always the best medicine.

Ways to do this include adhering to an anti-inflammatory diet that is right for YOUR body rich in plenty of nutrient dense whole foods. The stars of your plate should include LOTS of colorful vegetables, ample amounts of good quality protein from grassfed, pastured and wild caught sources, good quality fats from oils and fruit like avocado, some fruit and some nuts and seeds and, if tolerated well, it is ok to include some gluten free grains like quinoa rice or buckwheat , legumes and dairy from grass-fed or raw sources you trust, for variety in your diet.

Nutrition should lay the foundation for good health, but don’t ever underestimate the power and necessity of also getting good quality sleep, appropriate exercise and managing stress. These should also be prioritized alongside nutrition.

Gut Support

Approximately 80% of our immune system lies within our gut. This means that prioritizing gut health is HUGE when it comes to staying health, preventing illness and feeling our best. The following three things I have listed below all support a healthy gut and are things I try to consume on a regular basis.

Bone Broth: specific gut healing properties include collagen and gelatin. A good article to read more on the benefits can be found here. Broth can be sipped on straight up or added to homemade soups and stews. When making your own broth, sourcing the bones from healthy pastured, grass-fed or wild caught animals is important. I make my own bone broth using bones sold from Slanker’s. They our local to our area but also ship all over the US!

 

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Here is a good recipe to follow to make your own bone broth

Vital Proteins Products: I personally love their collagen peptides and gelatin. You can read more on the benefits of their products and why I love them here. These products are great for convenience if you most likely will not make bone broth on a regular basis.

Vital Proteins Gelatin and Peptides

Probiotics: Making sure our gut is colonized with plenty of good bacteria is vital to the health of our gut and overall immunity.

I personally take MegaSpore Biotic. This can only be ordered through practitioners like myself. If you would like to purchase a bottle, you can contact me through my contact page on my website.

To read more on the benefits of this specific product you can go visit their website here. If probiotics aren’t in the budget to buy regularly, or you just aren’t good about taking supplements, my next best recommendation would be to drink kombucha on a regular basis. This is a naturally fermented probiotic rich carbonated beverage. I’ve also written a couple of old posts on kombucha as well you can read here and here. Most local grocery stores sell it now, but I personally recommend buying it from Booth’s Brew if you are local to the Paris Texas or Dennison area. SO GOOD and such unique flavors you won’t find in any grocery store!!

So there you have it! Those are just a few things that I personally do to support my own health and my family’s. That was kind of a lot of info, but I hope it was helpful to you!

 

 

Red Velvet Cake Truffles

Last week I shared with you all a delicious Red Beet Juice that would be fun to enjoy on Valentine’s Day, but I also promised I would be sharing with you all something a little sweeter this week that you could enjoy on Valentine’s Day, so I am keeping that promise.

The star of this recipe is once again, BEETS! Surprise surprise. It’s strong natural red color is what takes the place of artificial red colors and dyes to make these into a healthy nutrient dense red cake ball. They are also gluten free, grain free and have the option to also be dairy free.

If cake balls and beets don’t sound like a good combo to you, TRUST ME, you will be so surprised at how good these are!!! I have taken these to multiple parties and made them for family members that had no clue these were a healthy version of cake balls until I told them what was in them.

Another fun fact about these cake balls..It has been tradition every year for my husband’s birthday that I make him red velvet cake balls (his absolute favorite..and not the healthy kind). This year, he actually requested that I make this version instead!

So, I’m going to go ahead and just stop right now trying to tell you how good these are and just give you the recipe.

Enjoy, complements of Planks Love and Guacamole Blog! She nailed it on this recipe.

 

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Valentine’s Day Juice

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner!

If in the spirit of this fun holiday you like to make and eat all things red, I have a few recipes coming your way, starting with this healthy red juice today. It’s pretty common to get caught up in  consuming lots of junk full of artificial colors and dyes for the sake of tradition this time of year, but nature provides lots of nutrient dense and antioxidant rich red foods that can make Valentine’s Day just as fun and delicious if you get creative.

This juice recipe would be great served in wine glasses if you want to make it fancy paired with a home cooked dinner with your loved one, or as a morning juice with breakfast for little ones to celebrate Valentine’s Day!

This recipe was inspired by the leftover beets we had from a fun little Valentine’s Day dessert recipe I’ll be sharing with you next week, so stay tuned!

 

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This recipe is super simple with only two ingredients, however this recipe can be adjusted to add other vegetables and fruits that you would like. We only used these two ingredients because it was what we had in our fridge that we wanted to get rid of before they went bad.

This recipe will make approximately 6 cups of fresh juice or 48 oz.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large beets
  • 6 large oranges, peeled

That’s it!!

If you would like to adjust this recipe to add in more variety of nutrients, I would suggest adding a couple of large carrots, some red apples, or strawberries to keep it Valentine’s Day themed with the red color. While there are lots of other wonderful things you could add to the juice for nutrient density, I was going for a red color here for holiday sake. Adding any greens would change that.

You of course will need a juicer for this recipe. If you have one, just throw all the ingredients in and then store the fresh juice in a glass container in the fridge or consume immediately!

Nutritional Highlights:

Fresh Beet Juice

  • high in vitamin C, B6, folate, manganese, and potassium
  • has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification properties
  • helps lower blood pressure
  • helps improve digestion
  • boosts energy
  • known to also boost libido due to to its rich source of boron, directly linked to the production of sex hormones (another reason this may be a good Valentine’s Day Juice if you are married 😉 )

Fresh Orange Juice

  • Also high in vitamin C, making this a great immune boosting drink as well!
  • Rich in free radical fighting antioxidants
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Improves blood circulation and creation of red blood cells

A Few Tips and Recommendations on Juicing:

  • Don’t over do it. My recommendation for juicing is to use it as a supplementation to a well balanced, anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense, whole foods diet. I don’t personally recommend juicing as a meal replacement for various reasons I won’t go into in this post.
    • I have personally found juicing to be a great way to ensure my toddler gets a wide variety/plenty of essential vitamins and minerals in her diet throughout the week when I can’t always guarantee she will eat her vegetables. While this recipe is fruit heavy for holiday sake, I normally would recommend more vegetables be added in. What kid doesn’t love juice??
  • If choosing to juice with fresh fruits as the main ingredients, like this recipe, it is wise to dilute fruit sugars by adding approximately 35% water when consuming it, or make sure to drink it along side a meal with a good source of protein and fat to help prevent such a quick spike in blood sugar.
  • When vitamins and minerals are extracted from the whole food they become very sensitive to oxidation and begin to lose nutrient value within minutes. It is best to make it fresh in the morning and drink it throughout the day. If this is not possible, store it in an air-tight glass jar leaving little room at the top to prevent oxidation and consume it as soon as possible for best nutrient value.

Happy Juicing!

 

Kale Vs. Cow – The Case for Better Meat

Meat, specifically red meat, has been unfairly demonized for a long time as a contributor to poor health.

Whether you fall into the camp of people that agree with this or not for various reasons, I think it is only fair and wise that everyone make a decision for their own personal nutrition choices AFTER hearing and researching both sides of the story.

Recently, we are seeing so many more films and documentaries that are only showing one side of the story. For example, said films and documentaries paint the picture that all animals are raised in concentrated buildings, with concentrated lights, and that all meats are grown in labs etc..when this is not true at all.

The most recent documentary that has gotten a lot of press for this approach was “What The Health”. Feel free to go watch it for yourself, but again, do your research and be open to hearing both sides of the story.

If you are open to hearing the other side of the story (because I know not everyone is and that’s ok), I am excited to let you in on a very exciting project that Diana Rodgers, Registered Dietitian and founder of Sustainable Dish has embarked upon.

For the past 15 years, Diana Rodgers has lived and worked on an organic farm raising vegetables and pasture-based animals. After curing herself of Celiac Disease and a blood sugar roller coaster through an ancestral based diet back in 2010, she made it her life’s mission to help others through diet and lifestyle change. She has written two best selling books and built a successful clinical practice for herself, but she wants to do more…something BIG!

She is currently busy working on a film called ‘Kale Vs. Cow – The Case for Better Meat’. This film aims to give an accurate picture of the other side of the story that has been demonized for far too long.

 

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To learn more about this film and watch a short video on what the film will be about, you can  follow this link.

This is a message that needs to get out, but the only way that it will get out is if she is able to raise enough money to put the whole film together.

This is where you come in!! If this is a topic you are passionate about or just want to learn more about to make more educated decisions about your food choices, please consider donating towards this project. The link I provided above will also provide you with the option to donate if you wish to do so.

To hear more of Diana Rodgers heart behind the film, you can go listen to this recent interview she did with Liz Wolf on the Balanced Bites Podcast.

Here are a few quotes that stood out to me in this interview:
“At the end of the day I’m not saying kale is bad and cows are good, I’m saying we need both. We need plants and animals to have a healthy system moving forward. It’s just completely unsustainable to completely remove plants and vice versa.” -Diana Rodgers

“We’re seeing whole cultures collapse from diabetes and it’s not because they’re eating more meat..This (the message that she is trying to get out through this film) effects food policy, this effects snap, this effects school lunches, this effects the dietary guidelines. This whole anti-meat idea seems really innocent and it’s really not, because it’s avoiding the whole argument out there, or the elephant in the room which is processed foods.” -Diana Rodgers

I personally am really excited for this film to come out and can’t wait to watch it hopefully in the near future! Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in getting this message out as well.

In the meantime, while we wait for it to be put together, did you know we have an incredible grass-fed meat farm located in Powderly, Texas?

Well, we do! Slanker’s Grass-Fed Meats.

 

 

Go check them out! They deliver locally and also ship all over the US. They sell a wide variety of high quality meats and provide a library of educational articles on their website as well if you wish to begin reading more on the benefits of grass-fed meats. If you have never ordered from them before, make sure to let them know that Erin Finch referred you and you will get $5 off your first order. You will only get the $5 off if you call in your order and personally tell them over the phone I referred you! Otherwise, I would greatly appreciate you ordering through the link above as I am an affiliate with them and do get a small commission for every order placed through my link.

Until next week. Best in Health.

 

Yoga for Stress Reduction and the Busy Mom

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Constant stress can have extremely damaging health effects. In fact, it is the foundation for nearly all disease. I wrote a post about this awhile back that you can read here.

In this post I discussed the many ways in which our bodies experience stress and how regardless of the source of stress be it, emotional, poor sleep, inflammatory foods, and even excess or high intensity exercise, etc., our body responds the exact same way in an effort to handle the stress at hand.

If you are in a state of HPA-axis dysfunction (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal axis dysfunction), a more accurate description of what is commonly diagnosed as “adrenal fatigue”, choosing an appropriate exercise is extremely important. If you choose exercise that is too intense for you, you will only be making matters worse as this can be an additional source of stress, triggering inflammation and be a withdrawal on your bodies system rather than a deposit.

If you’re reading this thinking, “What in the world is she talking about?..I have never heard of “HPA-axis dysfunction” or “adrenal fatigue”, please go read or listen to this podcast by Chris Kresser. He does a fantastic job of explaining all of this much better than I ever could and specifically how all of this relates to our choice of appropriate exercise.

After reading or listening to that podcast, you will have a better idea of if you are choosing the right exercise or not based off some telltale symptoms of HPA-axis dysfunction, including  a reduced exercise tolerance or decreased performance in whatever activity you are doing.

If in fact you find that you need much more gentle and restorative exercises based off o your current state of health like yoga, I have discovered an amazing online program I highly recommend and personally use myself!

After having my first baby and then becoming pregnant with my second only a year and a half later, I realized Yoga and lots of walking was exactly what my body needed to keep me moving but not over tax my system. This was a hard transition for my naturally competitive self after years of Crossfit, which I also loved, but in this new season of life, my body just couldn’t handle the intensity that I could before.  So, I joined Nautilus Family Fitness in Paris Texas specifically for their Yoga classes and fell in LOVE with them. I highly recommend their classes to anyone!! I was able to consistently go to their classes 2-3 times a week all through my second pregnancy and felt great because of it.

However, after baby number two came along, and with how much traveling our family does, I found it hard to consistently make it up to the classes.

This is where MyYoga Works has become a LIFESAVER! I absolutely LOVE this online yoga program.

 

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This program has 1,000’s of yoga and pilates videos for the beginner, intermediate and advanced. When searching for a video you would like to do, you can customize your search with the level of intensity you want, length of time you want that day (5 minutes up to 90 minutes), what you want to focus on (arms, legs, core, etc.) specific benefit you want (calming, energizing, prenatal, postnatal, fitness, pilates, kids yoga etc.), and even the teacher you would prefer.

I have been a member of this online program for a year now and have never done the same video once and they are all great! What I love most about this program is that I can do it literally anywhere as long as I have my phone or computer on me to pull it up.

Even if you can handle the higher intensity workouts right now, this would be a wonderful complement to your current workout program. Everyone needs a little more yoga in their life for all the wonderful benefits it provides.

If you are interested, you can sign-up for a FREE 14 day trial through the link below. If you decide you like it, it’s only $15 a month after that.

FREE 14 DAY TRIAL OF @ MYYOGAWORKS.COM

Enjoy!

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