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How to Choose a Multi-Vitamin

 

 

My friend sent me this text yesterday “Hi! At Vitamin Shoppe trying to buy more essential fatty acids, any suggestions? Overwhelmed!”. Isn’t that how we all feel? I mean seriously how do you make heads or tails of all the claims on the bottle? Let’s be honest, most of us just chose the label that we like the best. Personally, I think supplementation has an important place in our modern world. In a perfect world, all of our nutrition would come from our food, I mean that’s how we are supposed to work! Unfortunately, our life (stress+busy+stress) and food supply chain makes it almost impossible for most of us to do that properly, on a regular basis.

 

A very important caveat: your digestion! If your digestive process is compromised, you will have a very hard time getting the nutrients from food or supplements. You're essentially just getting really expensive pee. It’s very important to ensure your digestion is working properly so you can absorb and use all of those vital nutrients. Consistent heartburn, constipation, bloating, gas, diarrhea, excessive fullness after meals, and body odor are good signs you could use some improvement with your digestion. Check out our Health Coaching program, we can help you get on the right path!

 

Frequently companies will use the cheaper version of a vitamin, even though the body will not use it as well, in order to increase their margins. Unfortunately, this may include prescription vitamins from your doctor. As an average consumer, you wouldn’t necessarily know the difference but your BODY WILL! Here are some of the top vitamins you will want to check for on the label to ensure you are getting the best, bioavailable source of nutrients:

 

Vitamin

Cheap, Synthetic or Biounavailable Form

Bioavailable Form

More Info

Vitamin B12

Cyanocobalamin

Methylcobalamin

Cyano version has very poor uptake and may also lead to a version of cyanide left in the body

Vitamin C

Vitamin C

“Buffered” Vitamin C

Vitamin C should be “buffered” by minerals (magnesium and calcium are common) in order to ensure it doesn’t leach minerals from the bone

Vitamin D

D2 (ergocalciferol)

D3 (cholecalciferol)

Vitamin D is almost at epidemically low proportions in our populations, please make sure you are supplementing with the correct version for proper use. Vitamin D should also be taken with any type of calcium supplementation.

Vitamin E

dl-alpha-tocopherol or all-rac alpha tocopherol

d-alpha tocopherol acetate or d-alpha tocopheroal succinate

Synthetic version of Vit E is significantly less useful to the body, manufacturers have been known to mix 10% of the real form and 90% of the cheap form in order to label is “natural.” Make sure it’s 100% of the bioavailable form.

Folate (Vitamin B9)

Folic acid

Folate (various tetrahydrofolate derivatives naturally found in food)

Folic acid is an oxidized synthetic version that requires extra work from the liver and digestive system. Folate should also be taken with Vitamin B12, make sure if you are supplementing just with Folate you include B12

 

As I have mentioned in my previous posts, it's important to recognize that all vitamins and minerals work together, you can't influence one without influencing a whole host of others. If you are supplementing with just one particular vitamin or mineral, please make sure you know the most common cofactors and are adjusting for the extra supplementation. Outside of the multi, Vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat-soluble vitamins which means they require appropriate amounts of fat for absorption and utilization by the cell. Low fat dieting will create a major issue with these vitamins!

 

In addition, there should not be any soy, gluten, hydrogenated oils, dyes or colorings in your multi! At best, these serve very little nutritional purpose and, at worst, can cause excess digestive irritation, allergic reactions and inflammation.

 

If you follow these guidelines you should be able to find a comprehensive multi-vitamin that gives you the best bang for your buck. For more information check out our Health Coaching program or contact me personally at lindsayhuttman@gmail.com.

 

- Lindsay 

 

 


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Meet Eleonora!

 

 

eleonora        

Eleonora Gafton

       
         
         
         
         
         
         

Eleonora Gafton, MS, CHHC, AADP

Health Coach / Chef Growing up on an organic farm and winery in Romania, Ms. Gafton developed a passion for natural foods. Her many accomplishments include being a licensed nutritionist in the state of Maryland, holding a master's degree in herbal medicine and clinical studies from Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH), being a faculty member and professional chef in the Nutrition and Integrative Health program at MUIH, and being a certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NY. In her private health coaching practice she uses a combination of conventional, holistic, functional and complimentary techniques. She specializes in coaching people with chronic disease including gastrointestinal problems, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depression, arthritis, allergies and weight issues. Other notable accomplishments include:

  • Completing her chef training at Ministerul Turismului International in Bucharest, Romania and becoming the first female executive chef in a communist country.
  • Receiving a bachelor's degree in hotel management from Cornell University and working in the hotel industry in Washington, DC for 20 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Meet Patty!

 

 

 

patty      

Patricia Repko

Health Coach / Chef Patricia is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Natural Food Chef with a degree in culinary arts. She is certified to practice holistic health counseling through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Patricia received her nutrition coaching training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. Combining over 25 years experience in the food and beverage industry with her coaching provides an extensive knowledge base to help clients understand food and nutrition and how it impacts their wellbeing. Patricia also specializes in coaching menopausal women, and people experiencing thyroid and adrenal fatigue.  

Patricia Repko

       

 

 

 

 

 

 


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How Bad Can I Feel and Still Function?

I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU: Do you consider yourself healthy? If I had to put money on your answer, I’d wager you answered “yes”.  And why not?  You know someone worse off than you right?  I mean, at least you’re not in as bad of shape as so and so – she is really unhealthy.  You see, despite the fact that we are the most obese nation in the world, where the overwhelming majority of us die from highly preventable diseases, in general, we consider ourselves healthy.  In fact, in an interesting study released in 2009 by the Deloitte group, it was reported that 7 out of 8 Americans consider themselves to be healthy.  Strangely enough, 55% of those same responders reported that they wrestle with at least one or more chronic conditions.  Hmm – I think it might be safe to say we are looking at the concept of health from the wrong end of the telescope. Our collective understanding of what’s healthy is more along the lines of “How bad can I feel and still function?” rather than “How many different aspects of wellness am I currently thriving in?” Perhaps this ironic disconnect between perception and reality starts with how we have defined health in the first place.  If you look up the word “health” in the dictionary, you’ll find a definition like “soundness of body and mind” or “freedom from disease or ailment”.  With simple definitions like that, it’s not difficult to see how we could consider ourselves to be healthy.  Who of us would say that we don’t have “soundness of body and mind”?  If we are free of symptoms or a named disease, we must be healthy, right? Well, my goal here is not to try to convince you that you’re unhealthy.  Nope; it’s much simpler than that – namely, to see if we can’t come up with a better barometer of health than “soundness” or “freedom from symptoms”.  Soundness is too nebulous and subjective, and symptoms are just a sign that something went wrong a long time ago; they are not the beginning of disease.   We can do better than these benchmarks. I would like to present the idea that “health” is about “wholeness”.  It’s about being well in many different ways.  Author Cheryl Townsley, in her book Cleansing Made Simple, offers what I think is a one of the soundest definitions of health you’ll find.  She says health can be described as:
  • Having a good appetite and digestion
  • Having daily comfortable elimination
  • Having healthy eyes, shiny hair and radiant skin
  • Having a flexible body and stable emotions
  • Maintaining good memory and clear thinking
  • Being free from anxiety, worry or depression
  • Being able to enjoy activities, recreation and relaxation
  • Having energy for all required activities and a surplus for recreation
  • Having good communication skills to express your innermost thoughts and feelings
  • Participating in regular and spontaneous outbreaks of humor and laughter
  • Having healthy esteem of self and of others
Now we’re talking!  That’s a definition of health I can get behind.  Can you think of something she missed?  To put a more, perhaps manly slant to the definition, I might add, “having strong muscles and joints that work well”, but other than that, I think she nails it.  Defining health in light of the above would mean that when we talk about the body we consider the whole person – spirit, mind and body.  If we looked at health that way, we might give ourselves more realistic marks in line with the national statistics, and we might also begin to see how other aspects of our lives are tied to our physical health. So, I pose the question again… do you consider yourself healthy?  I don’t know about you, but I’ve got some work to do. - Christian

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5 Ways to Avoid Vacation Weight Gain

 

 

Ok, Confession. I gained about 4lbs during our Hawaiian cruise vacation last month. It felt wrong to allow you to assume otherwise, but in my defense, I am smack in the middle of the second trimester with baby #3, and this type of behavior is standard protocol. But with every excuse pregnancy offers regarding weight gain and the commonly believed perception that pregnant women shouldn’t exercise, I refused to be robbed of my responsibility of taking the best care of my body, vacation or not. I knew I didn’t want to come back home feeling like a back-slidden-adolscent facing my clients, or worse yet, experience the pains of a lethargic cardiovascular system, gasping for oxygen during a workout! So I did my best while I was away this last month, and when I got home, jumping right back into my workout routine and normal eating habits felt amazing. Going on vacation doesn’t mean you can’t make healthy choices or not have any fun if you do. I would like to share some of my tips with you!

 

1. Prepare to be active. When booking your vacation plan your activities in advance. Going to a resort? Google the nearest trails and hikes. Going on a cruise? Book the most rigorous excursions. Staying in a hotel? Make sure they have a great fitness center. Here is the deal, no one deserves to relax on vacation as much as you do, but you will feel so much better if you give yourself at least 60 minutes a day of exercise! Your body is designed to move, and the time you spend relaxing in the sunshine will feel extra rewarding when followed by intentional activity. There is no better time, to make time, than the time you have, when you have time. Did you follow that? Read it again, I promise it makes sense.

 

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2. Cheat BIGTIME…once daily. But only once. If you know that every evening of your vacation will be spent at a fancy restaurant with bread, wine, large portions and decadent desserts then I recommend eating moderately through out the day. Eat a lighter breakfast, snack on plant foods, eat plants for lunch then sit back and enjoy your indulgent dinner. Eat it slowly, savor every last bit. Get dessert. You are on vacation baby.

 

3. Hydrate! Vacationing in hot spots when the temperatures are much warmer then at home, it is easy to forget that your body requires much more water than you are use to drinking. The effects of dehydration include fatigue, muscle weakness, poor concentration, headaches, dizziness or lightheadedness, constipation (see below) and a decreased metabolism (say it ain’t so!). None of these symptoms add any appeal to your much-awaited getaway. A great way to monitor your hydration is to keep an eye on your urine. If it is bright yellow then bottoms up and get a refill to go while you’re at it.

 

4. Bring digestive supplements. Even if you are not use to taking them, they can save you from some serious vacation woes. Here is the deal. A sudden change in diet can cause the system to get a little backed up. Excess rancid vegetable oils, sugar, alcohol and deep fried foods can cause the delicate digestive flora in your gut some serious disturbance. Taking along a simple pro-biotic supplement and a digestive enzyme can do wonders for keeping your bowels moving and your vacation grooving.

 

5. Pack healthy snacks, or make it a point to load up on them wherever you are traveling. This way even the most desperate of hunger pangs won’t find you with limited options, forcing you to binge at the nearest fish and chips dive or convenience store. Nut based protein bars, trail mixes, and an apple smuggled out of the hotel breakfast bar in the morning are some of my favorite choices. Last of all; don’t spend a single second worrying about what the scale says. You have much more enjoyable ways to occupy your time and mental energy. Get out there and have an adventure, breathe deeply, soak in beauty, and savor moments with your loved ones because that is the TRUE nourishment vacations are all about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glory's Corner - Program Like An Athlete

 

 

Life is busy. I really don’t think I need to harp on that topic. It’s just fact. And this is the number one excuse I get for why my clients didn’t do their homework or are not seeing results. You may see your trainer 1-2 hours in a week. That is 166 hours left that are up to you.

 

To be successful in a hectic and demanding world, there must be consistency and efficiency. This means sticking with a program. Take it from a busy athlete! It’s been assumed that I spend hours every day on my workouts and in the kitchen prepping healthy food. Well, that’s funny because I’m pretty sure I have a 40 hour or more work week, get plenty of sleep, and have a few hours left for my social life as well. Summer is right around the corner and it’s time to get your butt in shape. I’ve laid out some tips for coming up with a successful formula for planning your workouts and healthy eating habits.  You don’t have to be an athlete to train like one. You just need the proper program!

 

Tip# 1 Time Block! Use a calendar that you view often. Have a copy on your smart phone and a copy on your fridge. You wouldn’t skip an important appointment would ya? Make sure those workouts your meal prep time is blocked off just as your important meetings and appointments are. Allot enough time to warm up, cool down, and get in your pre and post workout snacks.  Also use your calendar to block off rest.

 

Tip #2 Make it enjoyable! This component is super necessary to reach your fitness goals. Find exercises and activities that are fun or make you feel great when you are done with your session. I find in general, most people I meet outside the fitness industry hate exercise. In fact I’ve been called a freak for how much I love it. You don’t have to be a freak to stick with a plan, you just have to do what makes you feel good. If you aren’t sure what you like, try new things! Maybe attend a yoga class or a spin class and you just might fall in love!

 

Tip #3 Commit yourself! Decide how much time in a week you will make health and fitness a priority. Maybe you will weight train 2 days and week plus have 2 group fitness classes you enjoy. That is 4 days of workouts to plug into your calendar. If you are one of those odd ball workout-a-holics like myself, commit to a rest day as well! For meal prepping I find it best to pick 2 days during the week because most of my foods are fresh and I don’t like them sitting in the fridge more than 3-4 days. If you only have time for 1 meal pep day, plan items that you can portion and freeze. As a side note-Ask your trainer if you need help formulating a workout split that will target your goals and allow proper muscle recovery. I always recommend 2-3 weight training days weekly for beginners and each workout should target different muscle groups from both lower and upper body and all would include some core focus.

 

Tip #4 Keep a journal or workout log. Not only is it helpful to see your progression as the weeks go on, but it is super motivating to read! I suggest picking specific goals for this such as pounds lost, weights used, heart rate changes, sleep changes, distance ran, etc. Maybe 2-3 indicators that your fitness is improving. When you make an entry, be sure to write down how you felt before and after workouts, as well as where your energy levels are.

 

Tip #5 Keep a food diary. This coincides with

 

Tip #6. Diet is 70% of the battle in most cases when it comes to weight loss or gains.  I use My Fitness Pal for my own logging, as well as my Diet Coaching clients.  Eating around your workouts is important and food can surely effect your energy levels. You may not be well versed in nutrition, but you can present this to your trainer and get feedback on where to make changes. It will help you become more in tune with your body and what food types and portions work or don’t work for you.

 

 

 

 

Glory-workout-example

*Keep in mind this program is specific to me. Make your workout frequency match your current fitness level. Glory Billman, RN, ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, WNBF Figure Pro, Diet Coach    

 

 


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Super-Foods for Spring Cleaning and Detoxification

 

 

Winter is has finally come to an end, and as the sun starts to shine most people feel the urge to lighten their loads. Whether this is in the form of getting rid of stuff around the house, wearing lighter clothes, or losing a few of those holiday pounds, we naturally have an inclination to do some spring cleaning. For our bodies, this comes in the form of cleansing or detoxing.

 

salad-pic     These two words don't have to be as extreme as they sound. Rather they imply adding in spring foods to help cleanse our digestive system, liver, and cells from toxins or excess fat that was not used during winter months. With spring come some of the best mineral packed, detoxifying foods. Try adding these 5 amazing, super foods into your diet and start to feel light and alive.

 

Try mixing these  together with a little olive oil and vinegar to make a cleansing, nutrient dense salad:

 

1. Dandelion: Dandelions are a powerful food for a liver detox diet.  It stimulates the digestive juices, helping with the digestion of fats. It also contains 48 substances that support your body to detox naturally. Spring is the ideal time to benefit from dandelion greens, as they get too bitter later in the summer.

 

2.Grapefruit:  Grapefruits not only contain high amounts of vitamin C, but they also contain large amounts of potassium, vitamin A, and Fiber. Grapefruit contains pectin which is a soluble fiber that has been shown to slow the buildup of plaque on the inside walls of blood vessels. Ruby red grapefruit juice also contains lycopene which helps the body deal with inflammation.

 

3. Watercress: Cultivated almost exclusively in spring-fed streams, watercress is considered a superfood because of its high content of antioxidants, vitamin C, and Vitamin A. Historically, watercress was revered for its nutrition and healing properties, more specifically in cleansing the blood, kidneys, and liver.

 

4. Curly Endive and other baby greens: Endive is rich in

bowl-of-green      Vitamins A and B; iron and potassium. It has detoxifying effects that act as a tonic for the liver and gallbladder, and it aids in digestion. Baby greens contain large amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as calcium, iron and numerous trace minerals. Spring is the ideal time to introduce yourself to the health benefits of leafy greens as young tender leaves haven't developed bitterness.

 

5. Cucumber: Cucumbers are 95 percent water! The high water content and dietary fiber are very effective in ridding the body of toxins and aiding digestion. Cucumbers also contain a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber which work effectively for regulating blood pressure. The combination of Vitamin C and caffeic acid in the flesh of a cucumber help reduce inflammation. There are lots of other wonderful spring cleansing foods. Check out the detoxifying ingredients in Nina's green smoothie, and give it a whirl ! Greens and Algae Smoothie Serves 2 large glasses

8 oz coconut water 1 frozen banana 1 cup Kale or Spinach-fresh (packed) 1 cup pineapple 1 cup mango or peaches 2 teaspoons algae or spirullina powder A few ice cubes
Mix in a high speed blender and enjoy!

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Help Wanted: Vitamin D!

Poor Vitamin D, most people don’t pay attention to this nutrient and those that do assume they are getting enough. I beg to differ! Bioavailable (i.e. your body is able to use it) Vitamin D is difficult to get in the standard American diet and experts estimate that a majority of the population is deficient mainly due to our focus on low fat dieting. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and that means in order to get it from food, we must eat fat.  In fact, Vitamin D is so important to our body it actually acts more like a hormone because it is synthesized and then released into the blood stream affecting all your cells. You might say “No Way! What about all the milk I drink or fortified cereals I eat?" Well, pasteurized milk (Vitamin D is ruined during pasteurization) and fortified cereals have a synthetic version of Vitamin D (D2) manually added into the food. Unfortunately, this type of Vitamin D does not have the same helpful properties when processed in our digestive system. For those of you who are saying, “Well I spend time in the sun”, you are on to something.. read on. Here are the most important reasons you should pay attention to Vitamin D (especially if you are thinking about becoming pregnant, already pregnant, breastfeeding or feeding small children) and the best ways to get it. Why?? Vitamin D is important because:
  • It fights osteoporosis! Vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium, phosphorous, and Vitamin A. These nutrients are the building blocks for your bones and teeth, without Vitamin D, these nutrients will not be able to do their job. The reverse is also true, you also need to make sure you have these nutrients in order to properly use Vitamin D (including magnesium).
  • Just as it helps adults fight osteoporosis, it is essential for children in building strong bones and teeth. Hate visits to the dentist?? Up your intake of foods rich is Vitamin A and D (see sources below).
  • Pregnancy: All fat soluble vitamins (A, D E and K) are essential for pregnancy! Vitamin D in particular helps the body prepare for pregnancy by nourishing the bones, brain and organs. Vitamin D is imperative for Vitamin A utilization. Vitamin A is responsible for giving the baby’s cells the signals it needs to form different parts of the body. Super important! In addition, when you are pregnant your body uses all of its resources and reserves to help build your beautiful baby. A lot of women then become deficient in particular vitamins and minerals after pregnancy or in the later stages when stores are used up. Since most of the population is already low in Vitamin D to begin with, this would be a good one to make sure you stock up on for additional pregnancies.
  • It has preventative and therapeutic properties for cancers and autoimmune disorders due to its ability to regulate cell division, growth and numbers.
Sources:
  • The Sun!: Experts have said for some time that if you spend 20-30 minutes per day with some part of your body exposed to sun, that is sufficient Vitamin D intake for the day. I do recommend that you get some time in the sun, without sunscreen. GASP!! Yes, I said without sunscreen. I don’t mean rub baby oil on your body and lay out for 4 hours at midday. I mean, 20-30 minutes without sunscreen is a great way to make Vitamin D. Sunscreen hampers your body’s ability to work its magic. Through the window doesn’t count either, it blocks the UV-B light that your body needs to make Vitamin D. Even this amount of time is not sufficient to sustain your Vitamin D stores, especially in the Winter and if you have darker skin tone.
  • Fish liver oil supplement and fatty saltwater fish: Another reason to add seafood to your diet, especially salmon, tuna, mackeral, anchovies and sardines. These fish have the perfect amount of Vitamin A and D. I recommend fermented cod liver oil found here: http://www.greenpasture.org/public/Products/CodLiverOil/index.cfm.
  • Diary Products and Eggs: Raw milk, eggs from pastured chickens and butter from grass fed cows. As if you need another excuse to eat butter, dig in! Also, the yolks are the most important part of the egg for getting Vitamin D, egg whites just won’t do it so make sure you eat the whole egg.
  • Liver: Beef liver from grass-fed cows is an excellent source of Vitamin A and D
2 Cautions:
  1. There is such a thing as too much Vitamin D, while it would be almost impossible to overdo it with your diet and moderate sun exposure, you should be aware of your intake if you are supplementing, have very light skin or are in subtropical or tropical environments. The RDA (recommended daily allowance) is 200-400 IU (international units).
  2. According to the Weston A Price Foundation's research, supplementation is safe as long as sarcoidosis, liver or kidney disease are not present and the diet contains adequate calcium, magnesium and other minerals. No vitamins exist or work on their own!
More information on Vitamin D from the Weston A Price Foundation, click here

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Glory's Corner - Mindfulness

It’s a Tuesday evening and I am frantically watching the clock, waiting for the evening shift nurse to take a report from me so I can leave the cold operating room. All I can think about is the fact that in two hours, I have not had water or a bathroom break; even worse, there isn’t a crumb left in my lunch bag. I am upset off at the attending surgeon- we had a fight earlier in the day, as well as my coworker, who is always late. I’m so uncomfortable, and as my patient lies there asleep on the operating table, all I can think about is FOOD! I need to get out of here. It’s cold and I hate this place. I race home in tears, annoyed with traffic, cursing at the other people stuck in the same line of cars, like I am the only one that matters. What’s in my fridge? If I do an extra cardio session tomorrow, I can eat what I want! I’m starving! Or am I? I just had a full meal 3 hours ago. But I’m so freaking hungry and so lean already. What does it matter? I have a jar of almond butter. The entire drive home, I am formulating some kind of sweet and savory something that involves everything in the kitchen except the dang countertop. I’m so uncomfortable and that spoonful of goodness will take me to heaven!! Whoa Nelllyyy! This is where I was for months. Ups and downs with binging on food due to non-food related issues. Was I ever going to die from starvation? I think not. I was not starving. It was a matter of being uncomfortable and in a state of panic, turning to another habit to comfort me. Food, as it is for many people, was a habitual form of comfort during unhappiness, anxiety, and procrastination when I had a full schedule of work and chores to do. Learning to deal with this was mind over matter. It was practice and some days still takes practice. Through practicing mindfulness, I have found a balance in so many areas of my life and I have managed to build a healthy relationship with food. Today, the most common word in my vocabulary is MINDFULNESS. I bet my clients would tell you they hear it too much! How do I stay on track with my training and diet regimen? How do I have just one bite? How do I avoid temptation? Questions I am asked frequently. I have learned to be mindful. It helped me get out of the vicious rollercoaster I was on and it is one tool that can impact every area of your life, although for purposes of this blog I am applying it to diet and eating.  Through these applications you can retrain your brain to become self-aware and control your thoughts when you cannot control your environment. Mindfulness has been researched and proven to help problematic eaters and dieters, and leads to long term health benefits. In a busy world it seems that most failed diet approaches stem from stress or other factors. In fact, without stress and busy life, I would be inclined to say dieting is pretty easy.  It takes practice and commitment daily to learn to control your thoughts and eventually learn a new automatic response to stress that doesn’t involve running for the fridge or the pantry. Mindfulness can teach you to deal with emotions and teach you to listen to cues for what your body needs.  Such as how to identify when you’re satiated versus when you’re satisfied. There are tons of exercises you can use to start training your own brain to help you achieve those diet goals. Here are three that worked for me and are still a part of my daily life. 1      Be present at each meal. This means eat slow and purposefully, enjoying every flavor in every bite of your food. For each item on your plate, give thought into what brought that food to your mouth and be thankful for it, from the seed the grew into your veggies, to the farmer that picked your fruit! You will not only appreciate more the experience of eating, but slowed down so not to overeat,  becoming aware of what goes in your mouth from quality to portion sizes. When we are in a society that is always in a hurry, it is important to slow down! 2      Replace your bad habit. You can train your brain to respond to a situation or feeling with a little bit of willpower and consistent practice. Once you become aware of that uncomfortable feeling or anxiety leading you to overeat, under eat, purge, or whatever it may be, start practicing a new habit that will move you toward your goals rather than set you back. Make note of this EVERYWHERE! Post it on your fridge, phone, dashboard of your car, or anywhere you look frequently. This habit should be productive. Whenever I was drawn to binge, I chose to lay on the floor and do breathing and meditation practices instead. Some suggestions could be answer important emails, wash laundry, do burpees or pushups, or call a loved one! Whatever it is, make sure it is healthy and takes your mind away from the food. This task should take about 15 minutes or more. I guarantee once your mind focuses on something else, you will forget about your bad habit. With consistent practice, your brain will make this an automatic response! 3      When dining out, it is easy to go overboard! With oversized portions and calorie packed meals, binging is easy to do without even thinking about it! Be MINDFUL of choosing a restaurant. Take a look at the menu and the photos of the food on their website to make sure there are choices that you like. We eat with our eyes as well as our stomach -- does the food appeal to all your senses? Are their choices on the menu that will keep you on task, or too many choices that will set you back? Write down your choice and stick to it! And become aware of how great and strong you felt knowing you minded the better options! Through wellness coaching, daily commitment to my practice, and support from family and friends I was able to overcome my path of self-destruction and move onward toward my goals. In addition, these books, that I recommend were very helpful. In fact, I still skim back through them from time to time. The exercises and teachings in them can help you stay on course in your diet and fitness goals, as well as personal goals! How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulness by Jan Chozen Bays Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time by Rick Hanson PhD    

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The Lunch Rush!

  The Lunch Rush - Making Time for Lunch Good for you! You made the decision a while back to pack your own lunch. Eating out every day was costing too much, not to mention making it near impossible to avoid rancid vegetable oils.   There are some nights when you luck out and dinner provides awesome left-over’s. That is the best.  But then there are some mornings, when in your rush out the door, you open the refrigerator and there is simply nothing for lunch. And here is the truth.  Choosing to eat well takes time. Period.  Say it, hate it, but its best to embrace it.  We can’t deny that most of the time when we get into bad choices it is because a bag of vending machine Doritos is better than starving, and a 100 calorie snack pack seems better than a major blood sugar crash. This is by no means a strategy to keep your body nourished and your mind sharp.  Read on.  I wrote this article for you! I have divided my suggestions into categories based on the type of morning and level of preparedness you currently operate under.  All food specifications are organic and as fresh/local as possible to optimize nutrient density.  Because lets face it, it’s how we roll. For the “I needed to get out the door 5 minutes ago” lunch:
  • Apple, 2-3 Beef sticks from a local farmer (contact me, I will give you the hook up!) and a Chunk of raw cheese. Yes. Cut off a chunk and throw it in a container.  Quick, easy and satisfying and believe it or not, raw cheese from grass fed cows is loaded with vitamin A and D, as well as contains immune system boosting and digestive healing properties!
  • 3-4 slices of Left over breakfast bacon, Jason’s peanut butter packet with a banana. (Sounds like a weird trio, but it totally works! ) and organic (whole fat) Greek yogurt.
  • Smoked salmon (my favorite!), hard-boiled egg and two big handfuls of mixed greens shoved into a bento box.  Grab a small container and throw in some balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below) to drizzle over later and a handful of soaked almonds or cashews.
For the “I have 8 minutes to pack” lunch (worry about the prep-dishes later)":
  • The “who needs mayo?” Tuna roll: Mix 1 Can of tuna plus 3tbs cultured cream cheese, juice of 1 lemon and cut up celery and green onion and chopped pickle.  Mix it up with salt   and throw it into your bento box on a pile of romaine or butter lettuce leaves.  Make tuna lettuce wraps at lunch and wash it down with some raw milk and a piece of fruit.
  • Mean green pita: Mash 1 avocado with juice from ½ a lemon. Chop up some spinach, cucumber and raw cheese and stuff it into some sprouted grain pitas (Alvarado street or Ezekiel brand, found in the freezer section). Include protein with this meal, for an easy suggestion, add deli meat to pita, or a hard boiled egg, beef stick or smoked salmon.
  • Leftover-makeover grain bowl: Take last nights left over rice/quinoa/lentils and put them in glass to-go container. Cut up some organic Applegate chicken sausages (they are pre cooked) and pile it on the grains. Liberally heap sauerkraut over the top of the sausage.  Throw in an avocado if you have one!
The “I will sacrifice a Sunday afternoon for food prep” lunch:
  • Balsamic Lentil salad: soak lentils for at least 7 hours. Boil 1-cup lentils in 3 cups water with raw mashed garlic, a few bay leaves and a 1-2 teaspoons  of thyme.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until all the water is dissolved or the lentils are nice and soft. Put them in the refrigerator. The next morning, pile lentils into a bowl with a few tablespoons of balsamic vinaigrette, some chopped chives and grated carrots for a delicious lentil salad that can be eaten at room temperature! Sprinkle with plenty of Celtic sea salt for added flavor and minerals!
    • Balsamic Vinaigrette: 1 Tea Dijon type mustard, smooth or grainy
    • 2TBS plus 1 tea balsamic vinegar
    • ½ Cup Olive oil
    • 1 TBS Flax oil
    • Add ingredients to a jar and mix vigorously.
  • This will feed me all week Chili:
    • 1TBS butter and 1tbs olive oil
    • 2 diced onions
    • 3-4 cloves of garlic
    • 1 diced red pepper
    • 2 lbs grass fed beef
    • 1 TBS cumin
    • 1 TBS chili powder
    • 1-2 teaspoons sea salt
    • Stems of cilantro leaves, chopped
    • 1 13 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
    • 1 13 oz can tomato sauce
    • 2 cups beans (pre-soaked and boiled is preferred)
    • ½ bag organic yellow corn
    • Cilantro to garnish
In a huge pot pan sauté the onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro stems and red pepper in the olive oil/butter mixture.  Add the beef, the cumin and chili powder and sea salt and stir until beef is browned. Add the tomato sauces, the beans and the corn and simmer for 30-40 minutes on low to allow the flavors to set in. This chili is great garnished with avocado and cheese and eaten with organic corn tortilla chips!  
  • Dark meat turkey patties, (Nina’s recipe)
  • 1 LB  ground dark meat turkey
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (toast two pieces of sprouted grain bread and process in a food processor)
  • 10  (or more) sprigs of cilantro
  • 2 heaped teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
In a food processor make your breadcrumbs. Add the cilantro, lemon zest, garlic and sea salt and process In a bowl, add the mixture to 1lb of turkey, 1 egg and mustard. Stir to combine and pan sauté with plenty of butter on a frying pan, about 8 minutes per side on medium heat. These patties are delicious and can be eaten on top of greens or in a sprouted grain English muffin served with avocado and lettuce. You can form the patties and freeze them for later use. The night before needing a lunch, thaw a patty out in the fridge. In the morning, sauté your sandwich and assemble your turkey burger in 10 minutes!   Nourishing Traditions Stuffed Peppers - Lindsay Style
  • 6 green peppers
  • 1 pound ground beef or other red meat
  • 14 pound ground heart (optional) - I didn't add heart, I just used beef, but if you have it, use it!!
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 12 teaspoon each thyme rosemary, and oregano, fresh or dried
  • 2 cups basic brown rice - I didn't have any soaked/sprouted so I used Quinoa that came already sprouted
  • 14 cup crispy pine nuts
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan or cheddar cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350. After first browning and cooking the ground meat in the olive oil, add in the onion, tomato paste, stock, and herbs. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it reduce by about half before adding in rice and pine nuts. Slice your peppers lengthwise and get rid of the seeds and stems. Butter a dish where you will be cooking them in (I used Pyrex glass 9X11) and stuff peppers with mixture and add cheese (generously!) on top. Bake for 1 hour. I am loving the great ideas presented by one of my favorite bloggers Lisa from http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/. Check out her blog on school lunches and see how she pulls off real food for her kids! She is an inspiration! And finally, here are some of my favorite products to make lunch packing easy and successful:
    • Stainless steel soup container in 12-16 oz. keep it hot until lunch time!
    • Pyrex glass storage containers with BPA free lids
    • Lunch cooler (because a small brown bag simply won’t do)
  • Ice Pop Maker set: Make your favorite protein smoothie into a pop by putting it in the freezer. Put it in your lunch cooler and by lunchtime, it has kept your lunch cool and melted nicely for you to suck it down! (http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-431-4-Piece-Silicone-Maker/dp/B0036B9KHO)
  • Mini crock pot: trying to avoid using the microwave, but wanting your home made lunch to be hot, this is exactly what you need! http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=18321785

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