How to Properly Read Food Labels

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( “…eating should be a guilt free and happy experience…” )

We certainly are living in the age of information, aren’t we? There’s almost nothing that we can’t learn by simply using google, and boy is that handy. I mean, before I even went to school I was (attempting to ) counseling my family and friends! One fallback of all this readily available information, however, is that it causes us to think just a little too much.

What, you ask!? What an absurd thing to say right?

Not really. As I mentioned in one of my last posts, the sea of contradictory nutritional advice is to the point of being completely overwhelming to many, many people. We’re taught to read labels, and different sources will tell you varying opinions about what you should avoid and what is acceptable, or “healthy”.

As I’ve also mentioned, eating is very intuitive/instinctual, though we’ve tuned out that ability by allowing our brains to work on overtime in trying to calculate the proper ratio of carbs to fats, ect. We have so preoccupied ourselves with reading labels and researching what ingredients truly are healthy, that we are totally unaware that our bodies already know everything we’re looking to find.

We can try and out-think nature, but we will fail every time. Our brains are capable of incredible intelligence, but when it comes to healthy eating, our brains are required for common sense and nothing more. You see, some food is good for you , and some food isn’t. It’s as simple as that, but at some point or another, the food that is good for you will probably be under fire from the media. Will you stop eating it then?

There always has ( and always will be ) new research and evidence coming to the spotlight. We are then told that these “new findings” hold the secret to the true way of healthy eating, and until now we’ve been completely blind as to what that was.

Take coconut oil for example. “New studies have found that actually, coconut oil is healthy fat. Go ahead and eat it once daily!” Really? New studies? Just because coconut oil was adulterated and then ostracized in the U.S. doesn’t mean that this is some new discovery. It’s actually knowledge as old as time, it just happens to be on the up side of the cycle at present. In twenty years it might well be an artery clogging danger food that we should once again avoid at all costs.

Butter and saturated fats are other such examples. While there are many opinions about weather or not these foods are healthy, I’m not speculating on that now. What I’m speculating on is just how funny it is that for, I don’t even know how long now, butter and saturated fats have been the anti-Christ of foods, and now…wa-la! They are healthy once again!

If we look at the pattern, we can safely assume that for every healthy food there is a season. I’m a juicing lover of the most dedicated kind, but I’m sure there will come a time when it’s simply not healthy anymore. Scientists might discover that, in truth, juice provides too high a dose of ‘plant toxins’ and is therefore not such a good idea for daily consumption. I would of coarse then follow the government’s well researched advice and find a new healthy beverage to consume, preferably something that is pasteurized, as recommended by our beloved FDA.

Not really.

I will say “whatev” and continue the life giving tradition that has indeed stood the test of time, dating back well before the birth of Christ. Because my body tells me so, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that juicing is good for my family, and I will not ever allow up-and-coming evidence to sway me from my inner knowledge.

So, I still haven’t cleared anything up for you about how to read labels properly have I? Alright, and your not going to like this by the way, but here comes the truth. The only two surefire ways to be certain that what you are eating is healthy are as follows:

#1. If it has more than 2 or 3 ¬†ingredients, DON’T eat it.

#2. If you saw it on a commercial or in a magazine, DON’T eat it.

Notice how you never see a company advertising organic onions? That’s because people can’t produce onions in a lab. There’s big money in advertising, and because all major food companies are big business, they don’t give a flying chicken about your health. In fact, They’re busy clipping the beak off that chicken right now so that it can’t gouge any of it’s fellow inmates before you can buy them off the shelves. BUT I digress…

Now if you’ve read any of my articles up until now you might be thinking, well what about soy? Yes, there are many people who vehemently defend the usage of Americanized soy products as a health food, and as I have listed the dangers I clearly disagree. You might be thinking that this is a contradiction to todays post, but it is in fact where the common sense I mentioned comes in.

There is a huge and growing market right now for health foods, and don’t think that big companies in the food industry aren’t quick to take advantage of that. We as health connoisseurs have to be carful that we’re not simply consumers jumping on another bandwagon of toxins because it has been approved by the FDA.

A good measure of a foods credibility can often be determined by looking at weather or not it’s currently being used in a historical way. I mean to say, if it’s being processed and eaten differently than it was for thousands of years, or as intended by nature, it’s probably being exploited.

There you go, reading labels made simple. Hopefully I’ve given you something to think about, but remember, no matter what you are eating, the most important thing is that it makes YOU feel good. If soy makes you feel good, eat it. If donuts make you feel good, eat them ( although they won’t make you feel good for too long, and you can’t deny it ūüėČ ). My point is, eating should be a guilt free and happy experience!

Feel free to contact me with any questions, I love hearing from you ‚̧

Preventing Colds Naturally

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Dang, has this been the year of sickness or what? I don’t know about where you live, but up here in Alaska it has been epic. Seriously catastrophic. Many of us have forgotten what it even feels like to be without a stuffy nose and soar throat.

My family started the year out this way as well, until I buckled down, got to work and took action using some  serious preventative methods, as listed below. Also note that a few of these may be better suited for those of you in higher altitude climates where things can get pretty dry and crusty.

#1. Run a humidifier every day. ¬†This sounds too simple to have an effect on preventative health, but it’s crucial for dry climates. If those throat and nasal passageways get dry, your body will over produce mucous in attempts to balance things out. Run the humidifier as many times in the day as you want, the more often the better. Just be sure your air is clean ( see next tip ) and that you clean out your humidifier after each use.

#2. Diffuse essential oils. ¬†I realize that not everybody has a diffuser, and while you can do just fine without one, it’s really something I recommend to make your life easier. Diffusing OnGaurd is an extremely effective way to kill germs and bacteria in the air, and reduces your chances of contracting an illness by about 50%. Another great oil to diffuse that will aid in cleaning the air is Purify.

#3. Spray OnGaurd as alternative hand sanitizer. I buy a small spray bottle that will fit nicely in my purse or diaper bag and mix the following :

* 5 drops OnGaurd

* 6-7 drops fractionated coconut oil

* fill the rest of the way up with purified water

See? Super simple, and boy is it more effective than traditional toxic hand sanitizer.  It is possible to avoid the harmful effects of hand sanitizer and still protect yourself and your family Рand smell good while your doing it!

#4. Juice.¬†So again, I know not everyone has a juicer, and while you can get by without, I really, really recommend that you look into getting one. It can radically transform your entire being, and it’s a tasty way to ensure immunity and fill in those nutritional gaps ( which are often responsible for weak immunity ). For more information on the power of juicing, see these articles:¬†https://holisticgirls.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/amazing-juice-part-1-the-cancer-connection/¬†and¬†https://holisticgirls.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/amazing-juice-part-2-the-most-powerful-way-to-kickstart-your-health/

#5. Take E3Live. ( see beauty products section above ^ ) E3Live is very special in that it is the only food containing a unique polysaccharide that stimulates white blood cell activity. More amazing still, E3Live stimulates the flow of something called NK cells (natural killer cells ) making it a must for healthy immunity.

Start out at about one teaspoon morning and afternoon, and gradually increase to about 3 tbs. per day. It is a fantastic addition to any homemade juice recipe.

#6. ¬†Take Vitamin D. Last on the list for today, but certainly not least as vitamin D deficiency is often a huge part of the cold and flu season equation, there is most defiantly a correlation between flu epidemics and seasonal sun exposure ( or lack of ). We now know that if you are above the Georgia line you aren’t getting vitamin D from the sun. This is due to the fact that the sun must be directly overhead for absorption because of the way it is able to penetrate the ozone layers…or something of that nature. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on the subject of science ( and this happens to be a lecture I need to re-listen to as it was soo long and boring ), but it is indeed fact that Vitamin D absorption has to do with proximity to the equator.

Depressing? Yes, a little, but nature still supplies us with all we need to obtain our daily Vitmain D quota, which is about 2,000 IU’s per day ( as currently recommended by my teacher, Dr. Andrew Weil ). If you are like me and don’t take synthetic vitamins ( see Amazing Juice Part 1 for why ), ¬†the answer lies in FCLO, fermented cod liver oil. Regular cod liver oil will certainly suffice, however FCLO is a better option by far, and something I recommend for all children and adults who are not practicing a vegan diet, as it is natures gift to those of us in dark regions.

Fermented cod liver oil in truth is rather disgusting, but you can disguise the taste fairly easily in a smoothie, or do as I do and just take it as a shot ( I recommend 1 – 1/2 tsp. ) followed up by a sip of juice. This oil has been regarded as a sacred food by many cultures, but most famously by the Norwegians, who kept it outside their doors to keep it cool. These people must have known through trial and error the importance of Vitamin D without even having a name for it.

That being said, you need to be sure when purchasing any fish oil that you are getting a high quality brand, as cheap ones can be not only ineffective but costly to your health. Here is the FCLO that myself and most other oil connoisseurs use:¬†3273-1Well, this is where I leave you! Of coarse a healthy diet and mindset is the foundation for healthy immunity, but it doesn’t hurt to have extra defenses up. Follow these fail-safe tips and avoid all of the bugs that come you way:) Health is your greatest wealth! Health and happiness to you all!

What Are Soul Foods You Ask?

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* my sis ( black dress ) and myself ( red dress ) dining on some great soul food on vacation *

 

The world of nutritional advice seems like it’s getting increasingly contradicting and confusing every year, doesn’t it? This doesn’t help anyone who is already overwhelmed by the thought of embarking on a new health or fitness journey. Many who are just starting out in the health arena already can’t even visualize themselves in that life because it’s so completely foreign to them, and their brain wants to shut down and run for cover after hearing too many theories in one day.

If I just described you, let me assure you, it is entirely possible for you to find yourself in that life. No one is born a health or fitness expert. No one emerges from the womb with a chiseled six pack and a set of great hammies, nor was myself or any other ‘nutrition expert’ born with an exceptional ability to navigate the sea of nutritional advice. We all started out exactly where yo are today, looking for answers and trying new things.

Let me also assure you that, if you have tried many lifestyles ( my preferred name for diets ), and are now feeling tired of the hassle, or just wish you could “find yourself” already, you are exactly where you are need to be.

Reference Thomas Edison and remind yourself that it takes many tries to find what works, also remembering that what works for one will likely not work the same for you. If I was to give you only one piece of advice as your coach, it would be to forget about the fabulous new diets that are all the rage right now, and to instead take what knowledge you have thus far gathered and look inward. I tell people to find their soul food, whatever that may be, and embrace it.

Soul food? That may sound corny, but it’s very true. We are all so physiologically different that it’s really very silly to think that one specific diet will work for everyone. The reality of it is that we all have very different dietary needs. While many will experience the “paleo” or vegan diet and have such great results that they are inclined to believe nothing beyond their one experience is real, it’s actually about who you are and what body/blood type you are. This is why phad diets and ‘cleanses’ tend to fail in the long run, usually followed up by an even greater binge period.

You know how they say that we only use 10% of our brain capacity? I’m not sure about the actual percentage, so don’t quote me on this, but it’s definitely very true to some large degree. Our mind as a whole is aware of so much more than our conscious mind is. The body is an absolutely amazing thing, that works in ways science will never fully understand, and though we might try to re-invent the wheel, it will always be round. Knowing what we need to eat is actually very intuitive/instinctive, if you will, but we have been taught to forget this innate ability.

I say soul foods, though, because while many assume nothing affects health more directly than what you put in your mouth, physical food is in fact only secondary when it comes to overall health and wellness. To find your ‘soul food’ means to find the way of eating that will bring you happiness and contentment, whatever that might be. There are about a billion-and-one experts out there on every single “miracle diet”, and ultimately only you can know what is good for you.

There is no escaping or changing the fact that as individuals we all have dietary needs very unique to ourselves, but what if someone wants to become vegan who, say, is a blood type O? Bio-individuality, a concept that a explore with my clients, tells us that traditionally type O people are engineered to eat meat and cannot thrive on a plant based diet. This person, however, has moral reasons behind their choice to become vegan, so what then?

If a person detests the very thought of eating meat, then no matter what bio-individuality tells us, meat will not in any way be healthy for them. While my family thrives off various amounts of animal products (living in AK we constantly have wild game and seafood ), I respect and support vegans for this very reason. Veganism is a powerful stand against factory farming as well, but I’m feeling another post coming on about that…So I digress.

To wrap it up, eat what makes you happy, and do not be afraid of failure. It really is that simple. As long as your moving forward, no matter how slowly, you are making progress. Let go of any preconceived notions that you should achieve perfection; there you will fail. As with anything, the only way to learn what works for you is through trial and error.

No one diet will ever work for every person, and to think as much is absurd. Here in the world of nutrition there is a whole lot of judgment, and you needn’t worry about it. Only YOU can know what works for you.

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* Uh oh, my daughter dinning on some ‘soul food’ last summer…so okay it did happen to be a s’more, but this is like a once or three times a year event for my kids, and actually only for my daughter *

Coconut Oil And Weight Loss

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You may have heard the buzz about coconut oil in recent years. It’s all the rage, but I think that many people may write it off as a just another new age phad, while others still confuse it with it’s wicked counterpart, hydrogenated coconut oil.

In truth both assumptions are incorrect; coconut oil is a well researched and anciently known superfood that is in no way comparable to the hydrogenated version. Today I would like to hit on three health issues which many of us struggle with daily that can be greatly helped, if not completely cured, by coconut oil: weight loss/sluggish metabolism, fatigue/candida overgrowth, and dry skin/oily skin.

 Weight Loss:

Let me begin first by explaining, for those who didn’t know, that hydrogenation is the process in which an oil is stripped of its essential fatty acids, which is what made the oil healthy to begin with. These essential fatty acids are not only just that – essential to our bodies, but are also what will go rancid when left out. By stripping an oil of its EFA’s, we have what is today known as “partially hydrogenated oils”, ( the shelf life of which is over thirty years ) and a very sick population.

This is in large part where fats get their bad rap from, and is what was done, and is still done, to coconut oil when it was popularized in America in the fifties. When choosing a coconut oil at the store, just be sure to pick the one that is certified organic, and is labeled either extra virgin, virgin or raw. Also, it will never be one solid color, instead it almost has a mother-of-pearl or iridescent pattern to it that you should be able to see in the jar.

Ok, ok, so to the weight loss correlation. There are many ‘opinions’ on this, but science does indeed back up the facts claiming coconut oil to be not only effective in curing many ailments, but serving as a fantastic aid in weight loss as it is a thermogenic fat burner. What this basically means is that instead of storing the fat as unwanted weight, your body turns it into heat in order to burn the calories.

For another thing, coconut oil is an amazing source of medium-chain fatty acids, which are actually triglycerides that speed up a creepin metabolism. A recent study proved that medium-chain fatty acids increases a persons metabolic rate by 48% for up to 24 hours! Seriously, wow! Buy coconut oil and say farewell to your metabolism worries forever.

Candida/Fatigue:

Many of you have probably struggled with candida issues, and some of you have and don’t even know it. In many cases Candida overgrowth is the ugly hidden cause behind weight gain, and that weight can be almost impossible to loose while the candida and yeast are still present, due to the strong cravings for sugar and carbohydrates. Symptoms to watch for that often signal yeast overgrowth in your body can range between confusion, chronic fatigue, poor concentration, sinus infections, bloating, recurrent yeast related infections, depression and beyond.

It’s important to note that while yeast overgrowth is most commonly associated with women, men can have candida and yeast overgrowth as well. I’d be willing to bet that at least 70% of Americans today have undetected candida overgrowth due to the SAD ( Standard American Diet ), which consists of all things that invite and ignite yeast overgrowth.

Coconut oil to the rescue again! While of coarse you must avoid refined foods in order to cut the candida off, this can be very difficult, as I mentioned, as the yeast literally tells your body it needs these things when actually it’s the yeast wanting to feed ( ugh, I know, let this be motivation, and remember we’ve all been there ). Coconut oil contains lauric acid and caprylic acid, which make an unfriendly environment for yeast to inhabit, and thus making it easier for you to resist cravings and eliminate the overgrowth all together.

When starting a coconut oil regimen it’s best to start slowly, taking just one teaspoon the first day and gradually increasing to about three tablespoons per day. The reason for doing this is that you will begin to experience something called “die-off”, the process when the yeast dies. This is just as unpleasant as it sounds, but will be better handled if you ease into it. Basically it will entail symptoms from headaches and flu-like symptoms, to dizziness, to extreme mood swings. I would not advise you to attempt a full fledged candida cleanse until you can clear your schedule as much as possible for about a week or so. The great flood of energy and joy you will experience after you reclaim your body, however, will be well worth the time and effort.

Dry Skin/Oily Skin:

And finally, we come to the uses of coconut oil for skin. As the skin can rightly be described as the ‘window to our insides’, the first step in using coconut oil for skin care is internal use. I personally drink coconut oil almost every morning in my chocolate tea ( very tasty ), and not only does it serve as a great energy booster, but it keeps my skin smooth and balanced. I rarely need moisturizing, and living up in these high altitudes that really is saying something.

Coconut oil makes excellent lotion, actually cleansing your blood as well, when applied topically. It even serves as a very healthy alternative to sunscreen. For example, I used it on my extremely white two year old and she never burned once on vacation. Also, sunscreen is really out as it’s recently been proven that the chemical reaction which occurs when the suns rays meet sunscreen on your skin literally create cancer cells, as well as blocking vitamin D absorption.

And lastly, as coconut oil has anti-bacterial/anti-microbial properties, it is a strong antiseptic that can be reliably used in place of Neosporin, or even aloe vera if need be.

Well, I hope I’ve made a good case for coconut oil! As you might have guessed, it’s my very favorite oil. It is useful for about one million more things as well, but I’ve just listed off the things that I deal with the most on a daily basis. I see so many women suffering from candida and fatigue, and so many toddlers with those horrid rashes that moms just can’t kick. It’s important for people to know that there is a very affordable supplement they could be taking to greatly ease their symptoms naturally.

Here are the three that my local grocery store carry

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