Day 60-What If….Week-Everyone Ate Healthier

Just some food for thought,  what if everyone ate healthier? Would it not change their financial states? Think about it, insurance costs and doctor bills would be significantly lower, because there would not be as much need for trips to the doctor. Why, diabetes and IBS might be diseases of the past. Celiac disease cases would be fewer and high blood pressure would be lower.

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If we all ate less sugar, cancer could not thrive and yeast infections would likely not exist. Sugar feeds both conditions.

Lets put the fast food industry out of business and build more whole food stores, or better yet, go back to growing our own food. It’s already becoming popular to have co-op city gardens and some produce and herbs can be grown hydroponically (only needing air and water). I grew herbs from my Aerogarden for months!

If we all started eating healthier, we’d have the energy to live a more active life, therefore reducing obesity. If eating healthy were the norm instead of an experiment people only try when dieting, it ould be ok to have a “cheat” day occasionally. They would become more special and less aguilty indulgence.

I’m not perfect by any stretch, but I can say, the last two years of eating healthier have been the most positive experience I’ve had health wise. I lost 25-30 lbs, rid myself of Candida, excercised more (I’ve been slacking in that area but plan to start walking/biking again, now that it’s cooler). Do I have to be strict? Yes, I need incredible willpower some days, but once in the habit, those times are far and few between. When people ask me why I eat this way and deny myself treats like cake and chips, I say because I want to be healthier. I haven’t gotten the flu in I can’t tell you when, I rarely get yeast infections (unless I give in and drink too much or start eating real sugar), I’m super energetic compared to three years ago and my stamina has also improved. When I excercised, I felt even better! I learned about essential oils and how beneficial they are for my body and discovered vegetables I’d never even tried! (Spaghetti squash and parsnips for example)

We all complain about the high cost of medical care but we do little to help ourselves and once we become obese or have a disease, it’s harder to undo. Wouldn’t it be better to try ourselves to become healthier instead of expecting a pill to take care of it? All we have to do is rid our houses of the junk-everything in a box or a bag should be replaced by lean cuts of meat, lots of veggies and fruits and nuts. It really isn’t hard when you think about it, you never need go hungry and the occasional treat, like a piece of quality dark chocolate, becomes that-a real treat!

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The harsh truth is, we’ve become lazy as a nation, and in the process, obesity and heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure is rampant. We could change all that folks, with a few more salads and a lot less French fries. In fact, we can have em, just as long as they’re sweet potato fries! Switch out chips with a few almonds or walnuts. Use lots of spices and make the switch from vegetable oil to olive and/or coconut oil. Have apples with some nut butter for a snack instead of that dish of Blue Bell.

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With just a few healthy swaps, we can start to heal as a nation, no, we won’t put doctors out of business but maybe we can visit them way less and fast food joints might be replaced by farmers markets. What a wonderful world that would be!

For questions on eating healthier or the Paleo lifestyle in general, comment below or shoot me an email. I will help however I can!

 

Day 31-Products Week-Just the Facts on Flax & Chia

I’m going to be honest here, I don’t remember my flax and chia everyday.  I really should get back in the habit because I’m missing out on some fabulous benefits. Lately, I find myself only adding them to my smoothies, when there are so many other ways to use them. What are the facts on flax you ask? First of all, flax is more digestible if you use the ground version. Besides, whole seeds don’t release the nutrients properly.

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Flax is a superb source of omega 3 fatty acids, only fish oil can beat it! Omega 3’s are what fight inflammation in the body, so as you can imagine, getting in your diet helps prevent a plethora of problems including heart disease, diabetes and many more. Consuming flax can help prevent osteoporosis and menopausal symptoms as well. Omega 3’s also have been proven to reduce the risk of many types of cancer and  the eye disease macular degeneration.

The high fiber content of flax also helps your digestive tract, keeps your heart healthy and helps maintain normal blood sugar in diabetics. It provides both types of fiber, soluble and insoluble, the first being good for the tummy and the latter helping out the heart. The healthier your digestive tract is, the lower the risk for colon cancer, a reason to make it a big part of your diet.

Its an immune booster, dynamic for dieters (since it keeps your stomach full) and some say the lignans found in flax actually help level out your hormones and assist in reproductive health.Flax consumption also makes for beautiful skin and strong bones, due to the abundance of vitamins and minerals like vitamin E, potassium and iron.

Flax tastes slightly nutty and provides texture in baked goods and smoothies. You can even use it as an egg replacement by mixing 1 tbsp of flax with 2.5 tbsp of water. I have done it, and it works! Mix it in oatmeal, yogurt, salads and even ice cream without changing the taste. Bake it into cookies, muffins and bread and reap all the benefits without noticing.

Now let’s chat a bit about chia seeds. You know them as what makes chia pets grow, but they are really a nutrition powerhouse. Use them in many of the same ways as flax, but what most people don’t know is to make a thickener for puddings and smoothies, mix chia seeds with water and make gel. 1tbsp chia seeds to 2 tbsp water in a small container overnight and you’ll have about 1 1/2 tbsp of gel to work with.

Chia seeds are also high in fiber and omega 3’s and are great for providing a boost of energy. If you’re dragging by lunch, toss some on your favorite salad or add em to your smoothie and you will feel it in no time. I have personally put them to the test! My problem is remembering to use them because I naturally reach for the flax first. I keep it in the freezer with my other smoothie ingredients like unsweetened coconut flakes and fruits. The chia seeds are in the cabinet next to the dark cocoa powder and coconut  palm sugar, so they get used less. My BAD! This little pep talk has me convinced I need to utilize them more frequently and practice what I preach. Just being honest here.

Not a milk drinker? Eat chia seeds, since they are high in calcium. Need more fiber? Eat chia seeds, since a one ounce serving provides 11 grams of dietary fiber. Want stronger bones and teeth? Again, chia is the answer because of all the manganese and phosphorus the tiny seeds provide. High protein means they are great for vegetarians, one ounce gives you 4.4 grams worth! Lower LDL and triglycerides means they are also good for the heart.

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However you choose to use them, do try these amazing seeds and watch your health improve. I plan on adding them to more foods myself, I’ve been slack-a-lackin for too long! Now that vacation is over, I’ll get back on track by sprinkling them in my Greek yogurt, or adding them to salads for a little extra crunch. I haven’t had a baked good in quite awhile either, I can mix both seeds in the batter next time I make some plantain and sweet potato waffles, yum! Makes me want to woop out the almond and coconut flour and get busy, alas, it’s almost bedtime. Maybe tomorrow, if I find some time. See you then on the patio!