9 tips to cut the sugar

I don’t know about you, but my Christmas was filled with too much sugar! We had an assortment of vegan chocolate that I bought at the Breadroot Co-op. I couldn’t believe the choices they had there and I got so excited and bought too much. And although I barely indulge in sugary treats I thought, what the heck… it’s Christmas! Not only that, but I made puppy chow, albeit it was a lot healthier and I made sure there was less sugar, I still binged on the sweets and the aftermath was not fun.

Symptoms from the sugar fest:

  1. fatigue
  2. decreased immune system
  3. increased cravings
  4. weight gain
  5. dry skin
  6. moody
  7. digestion issues

As soon as the holiday weekend was over, I knew what I needed to do. Get out the junk and keep it out and increase my fermented foods and probiotics and increase veggies. I know that I overloaded my body, especially my pancreas and liver, so a nice gentle way to health them is to also cut out most to all meat. I’m not saying meat is bad and for some, it works best to eat no meat at all. I know, my body works best by eating clean meats, but for the purpose of fast healing, I cut all animal proteins out of my meals to improve digestion, which will allow to rid my body of the waste faster because digesting animal proteins takes a lot more energy and work to digest in comparing to other whole foods.

I know it’s normal for the holiday season to get these sugary binges, so here are my 9 tips to getting back to healthy eating and feeling great!

  1. Throw out the junk and keep it out- this means everything that you know isn’t serving your body. Look for whole foods like fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains, etc.
  2. Listen to your body- feeling hungry? Try drinking some water and wait 30 minutes. If after that time you still feel hungry, then grab some nourishing food.
  3. Have healthy foods/snacks ready to go for ease.
  4. Increase the fat and fiber- when I say fat, this means healthy fat like coconut oil, avocados, ghee, lard, etc and steer clear from fried foods (trans-fats) or canola oil or other highly processed oils. Fiber will be your fruits and veggies and whole grains. These two things will keep you feeling satisfied longer.
  5. Add in probiotics and fermented foods to improve digestion and boost the immune system.
  6. Chew your food slow and mindful. This will allow your body to receive the signal that it is no longer hungry. (Takes about 20 minutes to send this message to your brain, so the slower you eat, the better. Also means that if you finish your plate, you should wait 20 minutes before you fill it up again.)
  7. Fill your plate with half veggies, 1/4 protein, add some healthy fats and a bit of sea salt. All of this is important to help absorb nutrients from your foods.
  8. Get busy- keeping yourself occupied will keep your mind busy and not thinking of what my still be hiding in your home for sweets.
  9. Get good sleep– Believe it or not, sleep deprivation (less than 7 hours of sleep) will negatively impact how we eat.

Anyone else suffering the effects of sugar since the holidays? What are you tips and tricks to getting back on track?

Are you deficient?

We all hear about how important calcium or vitamin D is but we hardly hear much about another important nutrient. Of course all of the vitamins and minerals in their proper amounts are important for optimal health, but the difference with magnesium, is that it isn’t well absorbed even with an awesome diet. Here are some signs and symptoms that you might need to amp up the amount of magnesium in your life. Below, I will share some ways to increase them.

magsymp

So, what to do if you are experiencing these annoyances? The best way to increase the amount of this vital nutrient, is by using a magnesium spray or lotion, which I make and you may purchase here, or you may make your own! On top of that, you can add in some foods that are high in this nutrient, while decreasing the things that rob magnesium from your body.

magrob

foodsource

Resources:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/12/17/magnesium-benefits.aspx
http://wellnessmama.com/podcast/topical-magnesium/
http://wellnessmama.com/3610/low-magnesium/

Top 6 Holiday Sugar-free Drinks

My go to beverage is always good ol’ H2O, herbal teas and water kefir with a sprinkle of ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon for my morning probiotic/anti-inflammatory elixir. On special occasions and holidays though, I pull out some favorite drinks. Here are my top choices, other than my regulars, for this holiday season.

  1. Fermented Apple Cider- This is pretty easy and super delicious! If you do it right, it turns out to be a sparkling cider (nonalcoholic). I buy a gallon jug from the Breadroot co-op pour some into a quart sized jar about 3/4 full and then add 1 tablesppon of water kefir. Let it sit for 2 days and voila. This is all optional, you may just buy the large jug and warm it up on the stove top, but I like to use the kefir to eat up most of the sugar found in any juice. You may warm up the fermented apple cider but if it gets too hot you will lose the probiotic properties.
  2. Chocolate Mint Melk- Daiya brand makes this delicious! If I don’t want to make my own I go for this brand, but if I’m opting for my low sugar beverage, I mix one cup of milk of choice into a pot and add 1 tablespoon of cacao powder (I like very dark chocolate, if you don’t you can go for cocoa powder instead) add 1/8 tsp stevia green powder, a dash of salt and a drop of peppermint essential oil (I ONLY recommend using Young living essential oils-please use caution if using any other brand!)
  3. Vegan No-egg nog- Daiya also makes this delicious drink called Holiday Nog
  4. Feeling like a bit of alcohol, try a glass of Sugar-Free Mulled Wine
  5. Chai tea is one of my favs, so when I came across this recipe for a sugar free version I was super excited! Chick here for Rooibos Chai recipe.
  6. This is a delicious way to get in a smoothie and better yet, it’s warm so you aren’t throwing off your body by drinking a super cold drink in the winter. Gingerbread Smoothie.

Please, try these delicious drinks for the season and let me know what you think! Happy holidays!

5 Rules to get kids to eat their vegetables

At almost, 7 months old, my little one got to experience food for the first time. We started with avocado and then sweet potato and then other veggies followed every four days. This is to test out whether she had any reaction to any of the foods. Soon, we were proud parents of a veggie loving baby. If a veggie went on her plate, she ate it happily, which made us happy.

Then, she turned two-ish and things started to gradually shift to her distaste for vegetables. Even now, it seems like if it’s not meat, Daiya cheese, or a grain she would rather not eat. Keep in mind, it’s completely normal for kids to do this. I struggle with this a bit but I don’t force my daughter to eat her food. She gets her plate of food with what we eat on it and she has to try a bite of each vegetable or she doesn’t get seconds on her “go-to-foods”. Most of the time she won’t even try them so after she has finished her other food, she gets down from the table. We try to give her options rather than rewarding or punishments for eating.

I do hide veggies in sauces, but I also put veggies on her plate because I think it’s important for her to know what she’s eating and know what foods her palate has accepted.

Here are my rules for getting my daughter to eat her veggies.

1. Consistency- this is kind of a rule with anything for rearing children. Make sure your plan is known to anyone who gives your kiddos food on a regular basis.
2. Mirror. This one is important. Your kids need to see that you enjoy your healthy food too otherwise they won’t be excited about them either. Don’t go overboard- kids are smart and can tell if you’re not really into them.
3. Give options- ask them what they would like as a vegetable and also serve one they aren’t excited about so they can try it. The more one is introduced to more veggies, the sooner they will come around.
4. Change it up. If you know your kiddo hates steamed veggies then try them roasted, season them differently, make them into cool shapes, make them into chips or fries, add some yummy sauce or cheese.
5. Be patient and Relax. As long as you are doing those things, then kids will come around, eventually, when they are ready and their tastes and body are craving them.

Do you have kids who have ever or still have a hard time getting down their veggies? What tricks do you use?