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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 Leslie!

 

 

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Leslie Schall

Health Coach Leslie is a certified holistic health coach and educator from the Institute for Integrated Nutrition and is passionate about helping individuals achieve vitality. After working for 17 years in corporate America as a strategy consultant and leadership coach, Leslie realized that too often people have to choose between and their health and wellness, and climbing the corporate ladder. Leslie has combined her passion for holistic nutrition with her background in strategy to empower individuals in achieving their personal health goals. Leslie has two young children and loves working with new and soon/hope to be moms in addition to busy corporate professionals.

Leslie Schall

       

 

 


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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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Top 4 Nutrients for Pregnancy

Written by Lindsay Huttman (pictured left, with baby Natalie) Ahhhh the miracle of life, so amazing what the human body can accomplish! I just gave birth to a beautiful (well, at least we think so, but I'm sure we are biased) baby girl in December. What a journey! My research on pre and post natal health for the whole family always led me back to one common denominator: nutrition. Whether you are preparing to get pregnant, already pregnant or breastfeeding, nutrition should be a primary focus for all involved. I credit our approach to nutrition for helping me keep morning sickness at bay, reducing heart burn, relieving constipation and minimizing the baby blues. While I had my own ups and downs, I felt my approach to nutrition really gave me a sense of control and ownership over many common pregnancy woes. Funny thing...I still wasn't able to stymie my love of dark chocolate...I wonder why??! If you have read any of our articles in the past, you will know that we absolutely advocate for a properly prepared, nutrient-dense, whole food diet. All nutrients work in conjunction with many different aspects of our diet. No one vitamin or mineral works alone. You will be pleased to know that nutrient-dense, whole foods have naturally occurring complimentary vitamins and minerals. It takes the guess work out of it for you! I have put together some recommendations specific for fertility, pregnancy and postpartum nutrition. And as an added bonus, the whole family can benefit from incorporating these tips into their diets! Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): This vitamin is involved in almost all bodily functions! In particular to our topic, it is required for the synthesis of RNA and DNA in cell replication and reproduction. The normal replication for each of the trillions (that's right, trillions!) of cells in the womb depends on this vitamin. Most people have heard about Vitamin B9 (Folate or Folic Acid) and it's importance in preventing neural tube defects, including spina bifida. Vitamin B6 and B12 are important in ensuring B9 is effective. In addition, it is essential for the normal absorption of fats and proteins. If you are breastfeeding, this vitamin helps the baby continue their rapid development and effectively use the fantastic breast milk they are getting from Mom. *Please note* that antidepressants, estrogen therapy and oral contraceptives diminish the body's reserves of B6. This is important because the first 6 weeks of life (when most women don't know or aren't sure they are pregnant) are when deficiencies in this nutrient can affect the baby. Since we now know that other B complex vitamins are involved in this process as well, B complex vitamin supplementation is recommended prior to getting pregnant (check out Vitamin Code's prenatal vitamins - something we carry right on our shelf in Studio C!) *Nutrient Dense Food Options: Animal sources of B6 tend to be assimilated in to the body better than plant sources. Fish (especially yellow fin tuna, halibut and sockeye salmon), liver (pastured beef and chicken), beef, garbanzo beans, banana, potatoes, brussel sprouts, and spinach. Source: Weston A. Price Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin): This vitamin works to protect the nervous system and cell replication. As a result, it is of the utmost importance for fertility (in both Mom and Dad!) When ancient societies prized foods high in B12 for fertility diets, they were on to something! In addition to B6, B12 works to assimilate iron into the body. Iron levels tend to dip in pregnancy as the blood thins out between Mom and Baby, but sufficient stores of B12 and B6 help the body to use iron reserves efficiently to prevent anemia. B12 is almost exclusively found in animal proteins, so strict vegetarians should take special care to ensure adequate amounts are in their diet. If you need recipes for liver, let us know! *Nutrient Dense Food Options: Mollusks, pastured Beef liver, Fish (Trout, Salmon), Pastured Beef, Yogurt (make sure it's raw, because B12 is destroyed by the high heat of the pasteurization process), Pork, Milk (raw), Pastured Eggs, and Pastured Chicken. Source: Weston A. Price Magnesium: Magnesium is needed to activate the enzymes in your body that carry out most of the functions in your body, especially energy production. In addition, it serves to help your muscles relax after contracting (i.e. LABOR!), helps relieve constipation and maintain a proper PH balance. Where would I be without magnesium?! This nutrient has been a lifesaver for me throughout my pregnancy and postpartum. I started even before I was pregnant with Magnesium supplementation, as some of my research indicated that a magnesium deficiency can exacerbate (or even be the cause of) morning sickness. My appetite did dip in the first trimester, but thankfully no morning sickness! I also kept up the routine to manage muscle cramps that sneaked up on me in the middle of the night, and it also helped me make it through Christian's workout routine (that might have been harder than labor!) Lastly, constipation relief! Very helpful in my last trimester and after giving birth. No need to elaborate, just trust me...it works! *Nutrient Dense Food Options: Leafy green vegetables like kelp and kale, seeds (e.g. pumpkin seeds), nuts (especially almonds) and whole grains *Please note* Phytic Acid - found in most grains - blocks the body's absorption of magnesium (as well as calcium, iron, copper and zinc) in all foods. The GOOD NEWS: Soaking or fermenting grains will neutralize Phytic Acid. Source: Weston A. Price Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) (DHA or Docosahexaenoic Acid): You've probably heard of this essential fatty acid and it's partner, Omega 6. These EFAs are not made by the body and so must come from our food. They are involved in every cell in the body and regulate chemical messages (such as hormones). EFAs are imperative for baby development, especially the brain, before and after pregnancy. The good news is that most people get plenty of Omega 6 EFAs in their diet. The bad news is the same can't be said for Omega 3 EFAs. Strive for sources that have a 1:1 or similar low ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3s. This occurs when the source is wild (as in fish, cod liver oil, or other fish oil) and grass-fed, pastured animals and animal products. *Nutrient Dense Food Options: Duck and Goose fat, fermented cod liver oil, pastured red meat, pastured eggs, and raw or pastured butter. Source: Weston A. Price If you have any questions, comments or thoughts please feel free to contact me. I will be a continuing resource on pregnancy and fertility related topics. Are there any other topics you might find interesting? I look forward to hearing from you, our readers! And please see our website for options on supplementation on how to obtain nutrient-dense, whole foods in your area! Lindsay is a trainer at Health and Wholeness - a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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Client Spotlight: Q&A with Brandon Millett

What brought you to Health and Wholeness? Simply put, I had just “let myself go” too much. I was in the worst shape of my life. I was low on energy. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was having all sorts of aches and pains, and I knew if I didn’t get a handle on it now, then I’d probably never do it. I’m middle-aged (40’s) and figured it’s now or never. Plus, I know myself. I have tried many times over the last 20 years or so to get in shape on my own. And I’d get into that cycle…in shape, out of shape, in shape, out of shape. I needed more than a workout. I needed a totally new approach to my health and my life that was interesting, challenging and sustainable. And that’s what Health and Wholeness provides for me! How many days a week do you train? I train two days with my trainer (Christian) and work out one additional day on my own. What are your biggest motivators? If you asked me before I started working out, I’d say that I just wanted my energy back. And that’s certainly true. I also would have said that I didn’t want to be one of those overweight, unhealthy guys later in life. That’s true too.  But now, I’m starting to see other major changes in my body that I would not have thought possible! And while my initial goal was to just get back to "average," I know now that there is nothing standing in the way of getting in phenomenal shape. My goals and my motivations are evolving as my health and my body and my confidence improve. What is the most significant change you have noticed since you started at Health and Wholeness? I can say that my work with Health and Wholeness has changed virtually every aspect of my life. My energy has vastly improved. I am healthier and feel stronger. I am sleeping better and less stressed. In terms of the “quantifiable” changes, in just a few months of working out, my body fat went down by 6% while I added 5 lbs of muscle. And that’s without yet addressing my diet...(I’m “in process” with my diet now)...I’ve hit some key benchmarks in the gym, too.  But most of all, my work at Health and Wholeness has given me a ton of confidence, and that permeates every aspect of my life, from my relationships to my business. This is the best decision I ever made with regard to my overall health and well-being! What have you learned about yourself since you started working with us? A few years ago, I had a back injury as a result of a car accident. I thought my days of lifting weights (especially heavy weights) were over. Not true! I just needed a trainer to work with me to make sure my form is correct and to guide me through the process of getting in shape enough to really get into shape. It has been a revelation! Now my favorite part of the workout is hitting the weights. What advice would you have for others just starting their own health journey? Don’t go it alone. Don’t talk yourself into believing that all you need is to surf the net for some health tips and re-dedicate yourself to heading to the gym and you’ll hit your goals. Has that really worked for you? Or do you just hit the same “in shape, out of shape” cycle I’ve hit in the past? Do yourself a favor and hire a true professional, like you would in so many other areas of your life. And then just promise yourself you’ll stick with it for three months. That’s it…just three months. In that time, you’ll move past the hardest part of the process and the workouts will begin to be fun! You’ll also start to notice changes in your body (other people will notice, too!) and it will be harder to avoid the gym than it will be to make your workouts. When I’m not working out now, I find my body craves the gym, and I never thought I’d say that. I was never the “gym rat” type. But I am now, because I found the right place to train. What would you want others to know about Health and Wholeness? This is a welcoming and friendly practice. Everyone at Health and Wholeness is so positive and upbeat and they really want to help you reach your goals. At the same time, they are not afraid to challenge you when you need it. As I said, setting up that initial consultation at Health and Wholeness was among the best decisions I’ve ever made. If you’re on the fence, just make the appointment and see what these guys are all about. Believe me - it can truly change your life! *Want to be the next client highlighted? Email us at info@healthandwholeness.info and tell us your story! Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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6 Holiday Eating Tips: Digestion Fundamentals

What's your gut telling you?! The hustle and bustle of holiday season can easily cause a shift in our normal routines. It’s not uncommon to find ourselves eating on the go, rushing through meals, or even when we do sit down to eat, our attention can be elsewhere. It’s important to stay focused on a few digestion fundamentals in order to make sure we absorb not only our nutrients, but the moments, too! 1. Take a big breath before meals. This small, mindful step can actually help the body to shift from operating from its sympathetic nervous system (“fight or flight” mode) to its parasympathetic state (“rest & digest”). Take at least one deep, complete inhalation and exhalation before picking up your fork. 2. Avoid drinking too much liquid right before, or during meals. Too much liquid at meal times can dilute digestive enzymes produced in the stomach. This can increase the likelihood of indigestion, and uncomfortable signals from the body such as heartburn, gas or bloating. Save drinking a full drink for at least 20-30 minutes before or after meal times, and instead focus on taking small sips through the meal as needed. 3. Chew thoroughly. As many of you know, the first stage in digestion actually begins in your mouth! Thorough chewing activates saliva production, and saliva contains an enzyme called amylase, which is particularly beneficial in carbohydrate digestion. Tip: Put your utensils down between each bite, creating less urgency to finish your bite quickly, so you can stay focused on chewing properly. This can also create a relaxed space at a table while you’re dining with friends and family, and who wouldn’t want that?! 4. Portion control. When faced with potlucks and buffet-style meals, it can be easy to load up on every food that simply catches our eye. Be aware of this inclination, and err on the conservative side for your first course (you can always go back for more, right?!) Consuming more food than our body can produce enzymes to digest creates symptoms of indigestion. Remember that it takes about 20 minutes for even the more simple foods (fruits and vegetables) to digest and signal satiation. So slow down your pace of eating, and practice portion control in order to stay in tune with satisfaction signals. 5. Supplement with digestive enzymes when needed. If you’ve exhausted all the above strategies, it might be time to add in the support of a digestive enzyme complex. Taken prior to meals, a digestive enzyme can support digestion of proteins, carbohydrates and fats, and allow you to digest with greater ease, regardless of the food being served or the eating situation. Sometimes a helping hand is what we need this time of year! 6. Don't forget your probiotics! So much of the holiday food is "dead food"...not raw, cultured, or fermented. This is where probiotics come to save the day! They increase the live, good bacteria that assist in digestion, and they "poop nutrients" that our guts need for health. Need help finding a high-quality probiotic? We love Garden of Life's Primal Defense. Get your daily dose from Studio C - it's one of our favorite products on our shelves! Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Run Coaching, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more. Come check us out today!

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How to Live in your Best Skin this Winter Season

Winter certainly changes the landscape, even down to the landscape of our skin. Cold weather, biting winds, and dry heat from furnaces can leave skin lacking its usual luster. For many of us, winter skin can be more than just red rosy cheeks, but also dryness of the hands, face and feet. Winter skin issues can range from the moderate tight, dry, flaky feeling to more severe symptoms like cracking and splitting of skin or eczema (when the skin actually becomes inflamed). It’s not just the chilly weather that has this drying effect, but also the heaters we have on indoors, regardless of what type of heat you have. Thankfully, Health and Wholeness has started carrying a wonderful line of organic beauty products by Neal's Yard Remedies to help save your skin this season. Try a free sample next time you're in the studio, or place an order on your own! There are also some simple nutrition tips that can combat winter’s attack on skin, so don’t write irritated skin off as just another chilling reality! With the proper nutrition, you can have skin as healthy and soft as a summer breeze, regardless of the weather. Eliminate Allergens: Many reactions to a food allergy or intolerance aren’t only digestive, but can also show up on your skin. If you’re suffering with severe skin conditions or eczema, it may be helpful to eliminate common food allergens like gluten, wheat, dairy, and soy for a while to see if symptoms improve. Water: While it may seem obvious to start with water, proper hydration is the first place to begin breathing some life back into dry skin. Although the general recommendation for water intake is about 32 ounces a day, this amount varies from person to person, especially if you are active. The best way to determine your hydration status is to look at your urine (clear or light yellow means you are getting enough water, dark yellow means you’re lacking). If you find you don’t want cold water when it’s cold out, heat it up and put sliced lemon in it, keep it room temperature, or sip on herbal tea throughout the day. Omega-3’s: An essential fatty acid deficiency is a common cause of dry skin, so be sure to get a daily dose through fatty fish and chia, flax, hemp, or pumpkin seeds. *Note: "When the skin is dry, it means there is a relative imbalance or deficiency of fats, especially compared to the levels of carbohydrates in the diet...patients who suffer from dry skin are thin and have been eating a low-fat diet. They are also often hypoglycemic and crave sugar. Thus they are eating a diet that is high in carbohydrates but deficient in good quality fat. By changing the ratio, so that more calories come from fats than carbohydrates, the body produces more water for the cells. In addition, the body will now have more fatty acids available for our oil-producing glands, which are our natural moisturizers. Good fats include butter, lard, coconut oil, olive oil and small amounts of flax oil." - Excerpt from Weston A. Price Foundation. Read the entire article here! Opt for Some Orange, Yellow, and Green: Stock up on veggies like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, kale, and spinach for their rich vitamin A content. Vitamin A is a potent antioxidant that helps protect skin from free radicals in addition to playing a role in the synthesis of new skin cells. And don’t forget to cook those veggies up with some organic coconut oil to help you absorb that Vitamin A! Broccoli to Bananas: A deficiency in vitamin B6 can show through dry skin and cracked corners of the mouth, as B6 is needed to keep skin healthy. This bold B vitamin can be found in foods like avocado, banana, broccoli, bok choy, sweet potato, and grapes. Nuts for Niacin: Nuts provide a good source of niacin- especially pine nuts, macadamia, and almonds. A niacin deficiency can contribute to eczema, or itchy, dry, red skin. Niacin can also be found in crimini and shiitake mushrooms as well as asparagus. Citrus: Once again, citrus fruits provide a serious source of skin-assisting vitamin C, which is found in skin cells and also provides skin-protecting antioxidants. Add a few of these foods to your daily diet: Lemons, oranges, kiwi, papaya, broccoli, and bell peppers. Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia, featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training, Circuit and Mat Pilates classes, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations and Food Sensitivity Testing, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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Healthy Holiday Meals

Recipes by Glory Billman, Professional Figure Athlete, Registered Nurse, and Health and Wholeness ACSM Certified Personal Trainer. *Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts* This tasty side is perfect for any holiday meal...make sure to cook up extra...leftovers are great chilled for a healthy addition to your lunch bag. Makes 5 Servings. Total Cook Time: 15-20 min. Ingredients:
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 3/4 cup chestnuts (fresh roasted or peel vacuum packed)
  • 3 tbsp organic grade B maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions:
  1. Bring 2 quarts of water and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil.
  2. If fresh chestnuts are used, shell with a paring knife and toast on a cookie sheet in the oven until the meat pulls from the shell and the shell and skin can be easily removed. If packed chestnuts are used, drain and dry them.
  3. Trim the outside leaves from the Brussels sprouts and cut 1/4-inch deep cross in the bottoms of each.
  4. Blanche the Brussels sprouts in the boiling water and cook until they are fork tender.
  5. Drain the sprouts and drop into large bowl of ice water to shock and cool.
  6. Cut each Brussels sprout in half.
  7. Add the maple syrup to a large sauté pan and warm. Add the Brussels sprouts and bring to a boil. Quickly add the chestnuts and stir in the whole butter. The syrup and butter will thicken and glaze the sprouts.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Nutritional Info Per Serving: 164 calories, 5 g fat, 27 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein *Parsley Smashed Potatoes* Healthy mashed potatoes?! YES! The perfect side dish for any holiday dinner and is easy and economical, especially for large gatherings! To add protein, subsititute the yogurt for Greek-style. Prep Time: 20 min, Total Time: 35 min Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds red potatoes, ones quartered
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 scallions cut in half lengthwise and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoons butter , softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Sea Salt and/or freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Directions:
  1. Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket. Add potatoes, cover and steam until very tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. (Check the water level near the end of steaming to be sure the pan doesn't boil dry. Add more boiling water as needed.)
  2. Meanwhile, combine yogurt, scallions, parsley, butter, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the cooked potatoes into the yogurt mixture, breaking them up with a fork until they crumble apart and lightly clump together.
Nutritional Info Per Serving: 137 calories , 2 g total fat, 26 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein *Butternut Custard Pecan Pie* This dairy-free, gluten-free pie is decadent! A much cleaner holiday dessert that is sure to be a hit for your holiday get-togethers! Prep Time: 10 min, Total Time: 1 hour and 10 min Ingredients:
  • 1 ¼ cups pecan halves, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 cups cooked, mashed butternut squash
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil a deep 9-inch pie pan with canola spray oil; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, coarsely grind 1 1/2 cups of the pecans until pea-sized. Add oil and 1 tablespoon of the maple syrup. Pulse just until well combined then transfer pecan mixture to prepared pie pan and press into the bottom of the plate only; set aside.
  3. In the food processor, purée squash with eggs, almond or coconut milk, remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Pour filling over the pecan crust in the pie pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, finely chop remaining pecans. Sprinkle pecans along the outer edges of the pie and return to the oven for another 30 minutes, or until filling is set and firm. Cool pie on a rack then transfer to the refrigerator to chill before serving.
Nutritional Info Per Serving: 233 calories, 13 g total fat, 24 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein Health and Wholeness is a multifaceted fitness and wellness business serving Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia featuring: Private and Semi-Private Personal Training as well as Pilates, Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness Boot Camps, Nutrition Consultations, Acupuncture, Massage, Wellness Coaching, Infrared Sauna, Ionic Foot Soaks and more.

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