Inflammation and the Standard American Diet

Aiding Your Body in Healing by Avoiding Chronic Inflammation

Most of us are familiar with inflammation when an injury becomes red and sore.  But did you know that we often have inflammation going on inside our bodies daily?  Inflammation is our body’s natural defense and can be triggered by a reaction to foods, toxins in the environment, chronic stress, food allergies or physical injuries. Chronic inflammation is the common denominator of most modern diseases, including cancer. 

Important to Note: Good nutrition can help you avoid or reverse illness and some disease by decreasing inflammation.

Foods that contribute to chronic inflammation:

  • Fried foods
  • Unrefined flour and sugar (cookies, bagels, pastry’s, pasta)
  • Processed foods
  • More meat and less fruits and vegetables in your daily diet

Easy Tips for Eating to Decrease Inflammation

  • Increase your Omega 3′s-salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds
  • Eat a lot of fresh fruits
  • Eat a lot of vegetables. The more colors the better
  • Eat quality meat-organic, grass fed, wild caught
  • Exercise
  • Lose those extra pounds!
  • Consider supplements

If you’d like to learn more about how to decrease inflammation and increase your vitality, contact me at vicki@yourhealthystructure.com for a free breakthrough consult.  We will work together to create a crystal clear vision for your health.

Did You Eat Breakfast Today?

Did you get up this morning, grab a cup of coffee and decide you just didn’t have time for breakfast? Or maybe you just weren’t hungry yet and skipped it, thinking you’ll just eat later?

Breakfast, or breaking fast,  is the most important meal of the day. Because it:

  • Jump starts our body
  • Gets our brains working
  • Helps our metabolism get going. 

You’re busy and you just don’t want to take the time.  There are plenty of breakfast meals that are easy and quick to fix. Consider these options:

  • Oatmeal-top with cinnamon and some raisins and/or chopped nuts
  • Peanut butter on whole grain bread
  • A smoothie (see recipe below)
  • Low fat plain yogurt topped with fruit and nuts
  • A hard boiled egg-travels well and you can make it in advance, a piece of fruit and whole grain toast
  • A corn tortilla stuffed with an egg and fresh veggies
  • Get creative, you want to include whole grain, a protein and fruit or veggies.

My Favorite Green Smoothie

Smoothies are quick to make, easy to clean up and easy on your digestion.  By adding dark green leafy vegetables to your smoothie, you can “sneak in” some extra minerals for the day.

1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of water

Several handfuls of your favorite green i.e. kale, spinach, romaine, celery

1 banana

1 peeled orange, apple or pear with skin (you can even blend the core)

1 scoop of protein powder

Blend all the ingredients and enjoy.  Play with the portions to find what you like best.  Use different fruits for sweetening and to change the flavor.

If you have your own favorite smoothie blend, please share it with me at Vicki@yourhealthystructure.com

Remember: eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.

 

Enzymes and Your Health

What the heck are enzymes? Enzymes are the unsung heroes in our bodies. They are an integral part of all aspects of our health. They are in our entire digestive system from our mouths to our colon, busy breaking down food and keeping it safe for us to use. They are circulating in our bloodstream doing things like keeping viruses and bacteria at bay and our blood the right consistency so it flows freely.

 Where do enzymes come from? We eat them! Enzymes are part of all the whole foods we eat, particularly fruits and vegetables.  Enzymes are one of the many reasons that fruits and vegetables are considered nutrient dense and so important to have in your diet.

Enzymes can aide digestion. You’ve probably also heard of pro and pre biotics. These are enzymes too. Probiotics are actually bacteria that are good for your digestion that you need to have in your gut. Prebiotics are bacteria that help set the stage for the probiotics. Both are good and can be taken as supplements or found in foods with active cultures like yogurt.

Fermented food is another good source of enzymes.  Items like Kimchi (a Korean vegetable dish that is available in stores), sauerkraut, and yogurt with active cultures to name a few items.

Your body needs a store of enzymes to perform all the miraculous things that it does.  Be sure to feed it what it needs!

If you’d like coaching on how to move away from foods that aren’t nutrient dense and get a crystal clear vision of how to bring health and vitality to your life, contact me for a free consult at vicki@yourhealthystructure.com

Ending The Confusion Around Carbohydrates

There has been a lot of confusing information in the past few years about carbohydrates and grains. Not too long ago, many people avoided almost all carbohydrates. The truth is complex carbohydrates have a lot to offer us nutritionally. The trick is knowing what grains to eat.

Refining a whole grain removes valuable nutrients.  Examples of refined foods are:  white rice, white flour, bagels, cereal, pasta, cookies, pastry, cakes, and donuts. 

Enriched flour is when the manufacturer replaces some of the nutrients that were removed in the refining process.  Still not as healthy a choice as a whole grain.

Good health is all about the quality of our choices.

What’s in whole grain?

  • Antioxidants
  • B Vitamins
  • Vitamin E
  • Magnesium
  • Iron
  • Fiber

Benefits of Whole Grains

  • Decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, some cancers,, diabetes and obesity
  • Lower cholersterol
  • Provides glucose for energy
  • Decreases risk of heart disease and some cancers
  • Supports normal brain function
  • Increases immune function
  • Aides in maintaining healthy weight

Potential issues with refined foods

  • Increase in sugar in bloodstream
  • No nutrients
  • Deplete your body of nurients to process the food without getting anything in return
  • Decrease immune function

Transitioning from refined flours to whole grains does not have to be difficult. There are lots of choices readily available in your local supermarket.

Delicious whole grains

  • Quinoa
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Amaranth
  • Millet
  • Corn/popcorn
  • Sorghum
  • Spelt
  • Rye
  • Oats

I encourage you to explore all the wonderful grains that are available in grocery and specialty stores. They provide robust flavors, are nutrient dense and easy to cook with.

If you’d like more help in defining what carbohydrates are good for you and how to transition into a more nutrient diet, contact me at vicki@yourhealthystructure.com.

What is Holistic Nutrition?

We all are bombarded with nutritional information all the time. Diets to try, super foods that we must have, foods we must avoid. It’s all very confusing and often we don’t know what to do or who to believe.

Holistic nutrition is based on looking at each individual and what their nutritional needs are at a cellular level. Think about what happens when a house is built. The first thing that the builder does is make sure the soil can hold the house up. Then, the foundation is poured. If the foundation is made of faulty material or the soil is not packed properly the foundation will crack or shift. The house itself will not stand up and certainly not last for years or withstand a storm.

Our bodies are the same. Nutrition is literally our foundation. If we eat poor quality foods, eat too much or not enough, over time, our bodies will not be able to withstand the toxins, the stress, or the day to day wear and tear without becoming sick. Holistic nutrition looks at nutrition from this cellular level to insure that your foundation is strong and that you can support your body with what it needs to not only survive but to thrive so that you can enjoy your life and live at the optimal level.

Holistic nutrition educators work with clients one on one or in group settings to evaluate and educate on how to optimize what you eat to feel and look your best.

Let’s Talk About…Fat!

Did you know that fat is good for you? It seems that over the years, fat has really gotten a bad rap. We are told to stay away from it because it will cause us to gain weight and have high cholesterol. 

What should we know about fats?

Fats are a nutrient dense source of energy. One gram of fat provides 9 calories as opposed to proteins and carbohydrates that provides 4 calories per gram.

  • Fat is the preferred energy source to fuel the body.
  • Fats are used as a building block in the body to assist in many important functions.
  • Our body makes some fats but Essential Fatty Acids must be consumed in our food and they are essential to good health

The important thing to know about fats is that you must choose quality fats.

Different kinds of fats

  • Saturated fats-these are fats that are solid at room temperature. Think about things like butter, coconut oil and the fat in meat
  • Monosaturated fats-these tend to be liquid at room temperature.  They do become solid when chilled. Olive oil and oils from nuts and avocadoes fall into this category.
  • Polyunsaturated fats-these are Omega 6 fats and are found in abundance in processed and fried foods. These are also Omega 3’s (an Essential Fatty Acid, found in fish, walnuts, flaxseed). These remain liquid, even when chilled.  They should never be used in cooking. Most vegetable oils are polyunsaturated fats.
  • Hydrogenated fat- Hydrogenation allows for processed foods to remain shelf stable for an extended period of time. This process creates the dreaded trans-fats.

Avoid any foods that have hydrogenated oil in them at all costs!!!  This includes margarine.

The good news about fats is that we all love them and we need to eat them. Let’s face it, they taste good and make food taste great! It is ok to eat them, in fact, you need to eat them.

  • Use quality fats like organic butter, extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil and coconut oil.
  • Oils should be cold pressed or expellar pressed.
  • Be sure that you eat them in moderation.
  • Avoid trans-fats and any product with hydrogenated oil 

If you would like help determining how to use healthy fats in your diet, contact me for a free 30 minute breakthrough consult at vicki@yourhealthystructure.com.