Thursday, December 22, 2011

Finally, The Sun Is Out!!!

It was cold this morning when I took the boys out for their walk, low 20s but felt like the teens with the wind. However, it was worth it, the Sun Is Shinning!!!!! For those of you unfamiliar with Utah weather, let me explain. It is not because we have had a lot of snow, we barley have any, brown Christmas, sucks, I wish it was snow. We get inversions. These normally do not come until January, February time frame, but we have them this year in December. It is smog, fog, crap, all the nasty stuff. Most of the major cities of Northern Utah sit between two mountain ranges and when we do not have a storm blow through, everything stays. When these inversions are really bad, we have the worst air quality in the nation. It is horrible! It makes driving difficult due to the fact you may not even be able to see the house across the street.

So, this is a health and fitness blog, how does talking about the inversions mean anything for this blog. Glad you asked. If you have allergies or asthma, you can expect them to be horrible. The inversions flare these conditions up. You normally do not think of allergies and asthma this time of year, in Utah we do. For the last several weeks, symptoms of allergies and asthma have been plaguing those who suffer from them. Which makes sense. All the crap is sitting in the air and not moving. It gets worse. When you are outside, you breath in all of the toxins, poisons and allergens. Outside sports are concealed, people are encouraged to stay indoors, not drive if they do not have too, we do not see the sun. These can go on for weeks on end. We do not air out our houses because of the air quality and everyone gets sicker.  

What do we do? Most people are encouraged to go to the ski resorts and the respective cities associated with them!!!!! Now you will know where all the people in Utah are, skiing and snowboarding. The resorts are on the other side of the mountain, which normally does not see the inversions. We take trips to the other side so we can breath fresh air. These smaller sleeping cities become busy little towns.

Other than getting out of the inversion. other things to due nutritional, even if you do not have these types of inversions, are simple. Eat real whole food, like I talk about on this blog. These foods will help to keep your immune high. Giving you the nutrients you need to stay healthy and fight off the bugs. Processed foods should be avoided, as usual. They destroy our immune systems and gut floras.When our gut floras, the good bacteria, our low our allergies and asthma will be even worse. Eating foods which will help the little bugs in our guts thrive will keep us healthier.

Foods to eat are vegetables, some fruit, pineapple can be good for helping allergies, protein and of course my favorite, fat. You also want to bring in more good bacteria, eating yogurts and other fermented foods like Kombucha, a fermented tea, will do the trick. Another great thing to add is whole raw milk. This has all of the protein and fat along with the vitamins, minerals and good bacteria our bodies need to stay healthy. A Vit. D supplement can be a good idea as well. One of the best sources is cod liver oil.

Now, the start praying for snow for a white Christmas....
Peace, Joy and Love,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pizza is a Vegetable

Maybe you have already herd about this one, but I am going to write about it anyway! I know there are many of you who are over joyed at this news, pizza is a complete food group! that the government has decided pizza is a veggie. Well, I am here to burst your bubble, pizza is NOT a vegetable.

First, why pizza is not a veggie. When you buy a pizza from the store or most restaurants, how many veggies do you see on your pizza? My point. Not very many, even if you order a vegetarian. The largest majority of your pizza is sugar and more sugar. The sugar is coming from the crust, grains, and the follow up, the sugar in the grains, most commercially prepared pizzas have high fructose corn syrup in them, as well as other added sugars. Then, there is sugar in the sauce, HFCS and other sugars. All of this sugar is going to add weight to that waste line, not take it away. The cheese will not have much to talk about either, considering it is probably American, heavily processed, and has hormones, rBGH, and antibiotics in it. The meat will be the same thing, if it is meat. Then, we finally come to the veggies. The bottom of the ingredient list. If veggies are one of the last ingredients, how can pizza be a vegetable?

How many parents are going to be feeding their children pizza thinking it is a good thing because the government says it is a vegetable? They are getting their "five a day." When all we are really doing is setting are kids up to be sugar addicted, over weight, depressed, anxious, and all of the disease that come along with being over weight.

I am not saying pizza is not a great food, something I thought I would miss dropping the grains. However, there is a way to make pizza very healthy, with lots of veggies! You can make your crust out of veggies or make your own with a load of veggies on it. Here is a recipe I got from over at Marks' Daily Apple, but she has her own blog, Eggplant Pizza. I know it sounds crazy, eggplant pizza. If you are my older brother you would considered it extremely weird shit! It is good, do not knock it till you try it. You can try this with any other vegetable you would like or do a combination if you do not like eggplant. Mine and Hublet's personal favorite is Meatza! How could this one not be amazing, it is meat based with loads of veggies and some yummy cheese, if you can do it! If you still need that grain crust, you can always try, quinoa, millet, coconut flour or some other form of grain that has been properly prepared!

I am sorry, but commercially prepared pizza is not a vegetable. Even doing one of these recipes, I have linked to, would not be considered a veggie. Yes, they have many vegetables in the recipes, but nothing is a vegetable but a vegetable!

If you are looking for some more great recipes, I was introduced to this awesome page web last night, Nom Nom Paleo. I have not tried any of the recipes yet, but I will be!!!!!

Now, go eat some real vegetables!
In the Love of Baby Jesus,

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday Recipe, Water

Ok, I know it is really not a recipe, but I do have some in store for you, so hang on. Let us talk a little about water. Our bodies are made up mostly of water, even our brains are about 80% water. When we are dehydrated, we can have a myriad of symptoms:
Dry skin
Sugar cravings
Low urine output

In sever cases it causes:
Very excessive thirst
Lack of urination
Low heart rate
Rapid heart rate

I think you get the point, some not so pleasant symptoms. This begs the question then, how much water do you need to drink? I do not have that answer for you. You have to figure that one out on your own. You have to love it when people tell you that. Everyone's body is different and needs different amounts. Amounts can also depend on where you live, some where hot and humid, cold and dry, high or low altitudes. If you travel to a different area, this can all change the amount you will need. There really is no set answer, it just depends.

If you are someone who has not been drinking water for some time, you may need more initially, to re hydrate your body. Once this is accomplished, try different amounts to see how your body feels. If you drink a lot of water, do you feel like you are floating away, your urine has no color  in it? These can be signs you are drinking to much. If you drink less, do you have some of the symptoms of dehydration again? Then you will need to increase the amount. Play with it and see when you feel your best. Remember, if the season changes, you travel or move, you will need to reassess your intake. Also, if you eat more fruit and veggies, this can change the amount you need as well due to the water content of these foods. As you can see it can be complicated. The best thing is to listen to your body.

Our bodies recognize thirst as hunger. If we are hungry or thirsty, our body will have the same way of telling us, hunger pains. If you are new to listening to your body, and not sure if you are hungry or thirsty, the best thing to do is drink a glass of water first. Wait about 15 minutes and then reassess. Are you still hungry, then eat something, if not, well you should understand that as being thirsty. You can apply this same strategy if you are craving sugar or something not healthy for you. More likely than not, if you drink a glass of water, you will no longer crave this food. Our bodies are interesting.

If you are like I used to be, drinking water might be kind of boring and not something you enjoy. Here is where the recipes come in.

Put lemon in your water. In fact, this is a great way to detox your liver. Every morning, drink a warm glass of water with a fresh squeezed lemon in it. Lemon is a natural liver detoxifier and makes your water taste much better.

My current favorite recipe for my water is:
I fill a glass pitcher with spring water. Wash the lime and grapefruit. Slice is up and place in the water. Place a lid on it and put it in the fridge, if you like it cold. Enjoy!

I have read of people liking to put in cucumbers, rosemary or sage. Try different fruits and spices to find what you like best. The great added benefit is what the fruit and spices offer as well, not only taste but nutrients as well.

As a side note, by drinking ice cold water, you can burn a few more calories a day. Our bodies maintain a certain internal temperature, ice cold water is not the temperature. Our body has to heat the water up, which takes calories. I am not saying this is going to be your miracle, just a little helper!

Begin drinking more water and see how your body feels.
In the Peace of this most Blessed Season,

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bulletproof Coffee

Ok, I have a confession to make, I am addicted to bulletproof coffee, or as I like to call it, my reason to get out of bed in the morning. My Mom sent me this link to this web page and I thought, ok whatever, seems a little strange, butter and coconut oil in  your coffee. I am willing to try most things at least once, rocky mountain oysters, not a chance even though I had the chance. After the first cup, I was hooked. A few days later I had a normal cup of coffee, it just was not the same. I was longing for my bulletproof coffee, craving it. Over the weekend, I made some for Hublet. At first he was not too sure. I made my cup and he drank half of it. Hublet has a sweet tooth, any one who know him can tell you that. He thought it would be better with a little raw honey, I obliged. I do try to be a good wifey! The following morning, he made coffee, put his regular cream in it and out he went to work on his truck, had to replace the breaks. I asked him a little later if he wanted some bulletproof coffee, he said YES. My other cup, even with my cream in it, just is not as same any longer. There is something missing. The confession really is, Hublet and I are addicted! I have a feeling, this is going to be going to work with him, then the guys he works with will really go after him about what he eats. But he is the one who has lost all the weight, kept it off and has great numbers from blood work! I am SOOOOO proud of him.

For the recipe, you need to go to Dave's web page. Credit due, where credit is due. This is his recipe, unfortunately I can take no credit for this one, how I wish I could though. The changes I do make is adding cinnamon to my coffee grounds. This will help to take some of the acidic bitterness out of the coffee and cinnamon is amazing for your health. For Hublet, I also add some raw honey, if you like a touch of sweetness. While over at Dave's page, look around. He has some incredible information. I like his diet, what I follow for the most part, a few things I will be striving to change in our diet from reading his. If you are looking for a great health plan, this is it.

Let us talk a little about why this coffee is SO healthy, why you want to add it to your morning routine, besides the taste.
We have discussed coconut oil and butter in many posts before, herehere, and again here. But, if you are anything like me, you need to be reminded over and over again how great saturated fat and cholesterol are for us, due to the CDT, common death trap, and their pounding it into our heads that it is bad. I really do not remember what I said in those posts, I write and go on, if you would like to re-read those posts, it would probably be a good idea to refresh on the health benefits. We will re-cap here, I think. Saturated fat is not going to cause heart disease, or cholesterol, it will help to prevent it. Saturated fat will actually increase your HDL levels. In most people, their HDL levels are low due to not eating enough fat and to much sugar, which increases LDL and decreases HDL.
Coconut oil is also energy. Our body does not have to break it down, it goes right in to give you the energy you need. It is better than caffeine or sugar, you do not get the shakes or the drop after, just long lasting energy.
Butter also has saturated fat and cholesterol in it, giving us the energy we need and very important vitamins, like fat soluble Vit. A. Butter will help to protect everything from your skin to your heart.

Well, hopefully you will go and try this amazing coffee. I have finished mine while typing this post. I now have the energy to keep up with Otto, my Weim. Anyone who knows him, knows it take more than a cup of regular coffee to keep up with this dog, he is endless energy. Mom has endless energy too, to the park to play soccer we go, on this cold December Utah morning.

In the Blessings of this Joyous Season,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Weight Lose...

Hopefully all of those wonderful Christmas parties are going great for everyone. Are you finding those treats too tempting to resists? Self control is just no fun! Wouldn't it be nice to be able to eat whatever you want and never gain weight... Supposedly like those super models and actress who claim that. I do not know about you, but I normally do not believe them when they say that or I just remember they are 20 and have a high metabolisms. Give them a few years and that will change.

In my Holiday Season post, I gave you some tips on ways to not gain weight, but even lose weight during this joyous time of year. One of the tips I gave was having a  planned cheat meal. Today we are going to talk about this further.

The benefits of a cheat meal: If we fast for long periods, our bodies go into a starvation mode. The problem with this is our bodies think we are going to starve to death, great mechanism we have in place to survive those times of famine. Only, most of us do not know what true hunger is. The way our bodies respond is to hold onto fat. Our bodies think it is a time of famine and who knows when the next meal is going to come. We need to survive. This is why you can gain weight or not lose weight when you do those very few calorie diets. The way to trick your body is once a week have a cheat meal. Have an extra helping at dinner and dessert and some good snacks through out the day. You want your body to believe it is a time of plenty, that food is abundant. Your bodies response is to let go of the fat. Why hang onto extra pounds when you do not need them? However, this is a once a week cheap meal, not every day. We can all do that, eat healthy for six days a week and one day have a feast. It does not make is sound so bad or hard then does it? Those goodies are not off the radar for ever any longer.

The best way to create a calorie deficit during the week is not limiting your calories but, working out. As long as you are not eating a thousand extra calories every day. Eat what your bodies needs and then work out. This is a much better way to create the deficit, which will turn into weight lose. This needs to be a good workout to burn at least 300 calories. A good workout like HIIT. The added benefit of doing weight bearing exercising is muscle building. The more muscle we have, the more calories we will burn. This will lead to even faster weight lose.

Before that cheat meal, you will want to do an even harder workout, like an extra set or after the weights do some sprinting. The reason for this is depleting your muscle glycogen, the sugar in your muscles. When we do this, our bodies are ready for an even bigger meal and there is more room to store the extra sugar we will be consuming from the cheat meal. Some of those calories will be burned from our bodies needing to be replenished from hard work. The harder the workout the better before a cheat meal. This is a work out you will want to really push yourself. Go beyond what you thought was possible.

Hopefully I did not lose you. This can be pretty technical, but in the end it is simple. Eat healthy all week long, workout daily to burn an extra 300 or more calories, and then once a week have a big yummy cheat meal. Having some of those foods you have been avoiding for the week to be healthy. In the end, you get to have your cake and eat it too! Who does not like that?

In the Love and Peace of Baby Jesus,


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday Recipe, Not Really...

Instead of a recipe today, I thought I would give you a few more suggestions to help make your Christmas treats a little healthier.

We all know sugar is not great for us. If you want to lose weight, cutting out the sugar is better for us than anything, controlling our insulin levels. Making desserts with large amounts of processed sugars is of course something we want to avoid. If you have been reading my blog or have read through past posts, I am sure you guessed that is what I was going to say.

What to do?  Instead of using white sugar in your recipes, us raw sugar. Raw sugar also has a little bit of fiber, because it is not processed. Also, there are not the chemicals used due to bleaching and non-caking agents. Along with this, use half the sugar the recipes call for. Most of them are made very sweet. Train your body to not need that much sugar. You can also use honey. I have been told, that if you replace all of the sugar in a recipes with honey, it is hard and does not come out well. This would make sense. If you want to try this option, use both honey and raw sugar. Apple sauce is a great alternative. Not only will you have some of the sweetness, but the moisture as well. For some cookies this might not be the best idea, raw sugar would be better.

If you remember the other post on grains or gluten/celiac intolerance, you have will remember I do not eat a lot of grains. Of course I have substitutes!
*Coconut flour. I do not generally use this alone in recipes. I will add other flours along with the coconut. I do know people who and they seem to say it works well.
*Chia seeds. The reason I love these is their nutrition profile and they taste good. They contain Omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of ALA, alpha-linolenic acid. A little protein, nothing to write home about, but they are packed with fiber. Other notable vitamins and minerals are calcium, iron, zinc, good for the skin, and magnesium, which is a good thing for sleep. These were a power house of energy for the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. I grind mine fresh in a coffee grinder.
*Flax seeds. We have all heard about these. They also have omega fatty acids, great vitamins and minerals and they are also great for the reproductive organs! I also grinds these fresh, however you can it already ground.
*Pumpkin seeds. These are loaded with magnesium and good fats. Really, any seed can be used. All you have to do is grind them into flour and you are good to go!
*Nuts also work great. You can use one kind or a variety. It really just depends on your taste buds and what you are making them with.
*Another option is quinoa. This little seed is jam packed with healthiness. Complete protein source, vitamins, minerals, fat, energy and best of all no sugar or gluten. You can buy it at any grocery store. When cooking with quinoa, you first need to rinse or soak the seeds over night. This will remove the saponin. From here, you can either dry it and then grind it into flour or cook it. After it is cook, put it into a blender and blend. I have done it this way many times and have not had any problems. For convenience sake, at some health food stores you can buy quinoa flour, along with other products like pasta.   

There are a few more ideas to help this wonderful time of year to be a bit healthier! Do not be afraid to try new things. Life is an adventure, why be boring and always eat the same things?

In the Peace and Joy of Baby Jesus,

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Holiday Season

Sorry, it has been a while sine I have blogged. Been having fun with my wrist and with-drawing from pain meds. Not fun! I think in a two week period, I slept one nights worth of sleep. Finished with that crap!

Moving on and forward, because that is the way to live life. Christmas is very quickly approaching us, which of course means loads of holiday treats and goodies. Today I would like to talk about how to enjoy this very merry time, but not gain 10 pounds! Instead, maybe lose a few lbs. Yes, it can be done.

* Do not pig out. We all already know that though.
* When at a party, instead of trying every goody, pick one or two you enjoy or wold like to try and have a small piece or just one.
* SAVOR it. How many times do we throw food into our mouths and not really taste it? If you take the time to really taste and enjoy what you are eating, you will eat less.
* Plan your cheat meals. Having a cheat meal once a week is great for weight lose, not feeling deprived and a way to still have your cake and eat it!
* Begin your day with a big, healthy breakfast of protein and healthy fat. When eating this type of breakfast, you are less likely to binge through out the rest of the day. This is not just for the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this is year round.
* Drink a large glass of water before the party and while at the party. This will help you to feel full.
* Do watch the drinks, even non-alcoholic ones. They can pack major calories and even more sugar than if you were to eat the baked goods.
* The day after, do a good hard workout.
* Do not stress while you are enjoying yourself. Enjoy and know it is ok to enjoy and indulge in some of your favorite treats occasionally. When we are stressed when we eat, it raises our cortisol levels, leading to weight gain.
* Take something healthy to the party. Everyone else is going to bring the tasty morsels., be different and take something with a healthy edge, but not obvious.

I think this is enough to get us started. The reality is, we do know all of this, it is just following through and having self control.
Here is to a healthy and happy Christmas Season.
In the Love of Christ,