Eat FAT for Better Health

I want to share some important information about fat and why you SHOULD be eating it – that’s right, I said you SHOULD be eating it! Fats have been vilified for decades but the low-fat/no-fat movement has played a major role in the increases we are seeing in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases – AND we are seeing these health impacts showing up earlier and earlier. For example: type 2 diabetes previously known as adult onset diabetes, which is now being seen in children!

Healthy fats are ESSENTIAL for optimal health AND for weight loss! Health fats fight inflammation which is the precursor to every chronic disease! Also fats are more satisfying meaning they fill us up and keep us satisfied longer which means less snacking between meals.

Sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts and seeds, and oils such as olive, coconut, walnut, or avocado oil. Other great sources of healthy fats include oily fish such as sardines, salmon, herring, trout, and mackerel, omega-3 rich eggs from free range naturally and humanely raised chickens, and naturally raised antibiotic and hormone free grass fed animal protein.

Check out this great video from Dr. Mark Hyman for more info then comment below with your thoughts!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEQdFxWQOhw

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Will The REAL Healthy Snack List Please Stand Up??

If you’re like me you may often find yourself digging through your desk drawer in the afternoon or aimlessly wandering around your kitchen opening and closing cabinets in the evening. What is it I am in search of?? Oh, right, a snack! Of course there are differing opinions on snacking – some say it’s bad and will keep your body from using existing energy stores (fat!), some say it will rev up your metabolism to help you burn more fat.

There are 2 realities we must face:

1. Each person has their own unique biology and metabolism that will or will not function ideally with snacks. Some people function best on 3 meals per day, period. Others will do better with 3 smaller meals and 2 or 3 snacks. We all have to find what works best for our body.

2. Sometimes we just get the urge to snack! When this urge strikes, it is best to address it head on with a good quality nutritious snack rather than try to squash this urge and berate yourself resulting in feelings of guilt and shame! Associate snacking with negativity and we’re likely to ride that shame spiral full speed into a bag or neon orange cheesy corn chips (you know the ones I mean!) or a box of those cookies you bought from the neighbor kid!

So what’s the solution?

The best place to start is with a Pantry Clean-out!! Go through your pantry, cupboards, drawers, and refrigerator. Throw away all the tempting garbage – your go-to treats and snacks that you know are bad for you but you simply can’t resist! You won’t have to resist them if they don’t exist!

Next, re-stock with healthy options so you have a selection of easy quick nutritious snacks on hand. Having options readily available will give you an immediate snack solution – you can feel good about what you are eating and avoid any negative snack guilt.

So now the big question – what are some healthy snacks I can stock up on? I actually did a search online for “Healthy Snack Options” and as I browsed through the results I was appalled at what some very well known sites were recommending as healthy options. One site listed a whole selection of packaged items without a single simple produce item among the options (umm, apple anyone??). I was so disturbed by what I found that I decided to start my own list.

Now this list is by no means a comprehensive list and some of the items may be deemed more or less healthy depending on your own nutritional beliefs, but this is a list of a lot of my go-to healthy snacks and other options that I would feel good about putting in my body and recommending to others.

And BTW – I don’t believe in low-fat or fat-free options. Good fats are essential for optimal health and generally when fats are stripped from foods they are replaced with the ultimate evil, SUGAR!

My Top 25 Healthy Snacks:
1. Apple slices with Peanut Butter
2. Grapes – fresh or frozen!
3. Banana – fresh or frozen!
4. Clementine, Orange, Tangerine
5. Any kind of berries!
6. Plain Yogurt – add your own fruit instead of getting the kind with syrup-y “fruit”
7. Celery sticks with Peanut Butter and Raw Honey
8. Cucumber slices with Guacamole
9. Cherry Tomatoes
10. Sugar Snap Peas
11. Raw veggies with Hummus (Carrots, Cucumber, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Bell Pepper!)
12. Almonds, Pecans, Cashews, Pistachios – go for raw unsalted
13. Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds – go for raw unsalted
14. Hard Boiled Egg
15. Cottage Cheese with Peaches or Berries
16. Sliced Melon (Honeydew, Cantaloupe, Watermelon)
17. Raisins, Prunes, other dried fruits – go for unsulfured
18. Fruit Smoothie – Banana / Mango is my favorite quick fix!
19. Pickles or Olives
20. Whole Wheat Pita with hummus
21. Whole Wheat Crackers with Sardines or Tuna
22. Whole Grain porridge – Brown Rice, Quinoa or Oats with Almond milk and fruit!
23. Homemade Trail Mix (I make mine with Cashew pieces, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Raisins, and a few Dark Chocolate chips!)
24. Date Balls (check out my recipe for Death by Fudgy Date Balls!)
25. Any other Whole Food or Whole Food recipe!!

Bag the guilt and enjoy a healthy snack!!

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Killer at Large: Why Obesity is America’s Greatest Threat

This film focuses on the ever-expanding obesity epidemic and what we could be doing to combat this silent threat. Topics discussed include the school lunch program and government policies that are causing continuing health and weight issues. You will see the story of a 12 year old girl who undergoes liposuction to try to fix her weight issue, showing the disturbing rise in drastic weight-loss measures in younger patients. Includes interviews with public figures, authors, and experts including Bill Clinton, Ralph Nader, and Michael Pollan.

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#4 Tip for Better Health

Drink plenty of water! Many people are dehydrated and they don’t even know it! Common signs that you may be dehydrated include dry mouth, dizzyness, weakness, headache, decreased or dark yellow urine, constipation, and severe thirst. Your body is made up of approximately 60% water and the processes in your body require a steady supply of fresh water to replenish water used to excrete waste and toxins, so drinking water is essential to all systems to keep them functioning optimally.

Water provides many benefits to your health! Water can provide weight-loss benefits for a couple of reasons. One reason is that many people mistake their thirst for hunger so by quenching your thirst food intake is usually decreased. Another reason is because when you are drinking enough water your body is able to release the toxins that were stored in your fat cells, and your body is then able to use that stored energy. Water can also help kill cravings. When a craving strikes try drinking a glass of water. Many times the craving will go away! Water is also very beneficial for your brain, joints and skin. When you are well hydrated brain fog is reduced allowing you to think more clearly, joints are lubricated reducing wear and tear, and your skin will have a more healthy, radiant appearance.

How much water should you drink? There are many differing opinions on this – most say 8 glasses a day or your weight in ounces per day, and of course more with vigorous exercise! I think these are great guidelines to start with – get yourself on a regular regimine to get back in the habit of drinking water and rediscover your thirst. Eventually you will likely find that your thirst will guide you to consume the proper amount of water for YOUR body.

Also, be aware that you CAN drink too much water. This is one area where more is not better! Too much water will throw off your blood sodium levels and interrupt your electrolyte balance and is potentially fatal. Signs of overhydration include blurred vision, confusion, nausea, vomiting, and bloating.

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Living Low Carb: Controlled-Carbohydrate Eating for Long-Term Weight Loss

Best selling author Jonny Bowden provides detailed info on the history of low carb eating (it didn’t start with Atkins!), how your body processes carbs and why carbs cause some people to gain more weight than others, and addresses some of the myths about low carb eating. Also included are reviews of 38 of the most well known low carb plans with an overview of the plan, the general rules of what you can and cannot eat on the plan, and who may and may not benefit from the plan. Other topics include supplements and diet drugs and how to incorporate low carb eating into your life. Very informative book with a lot of information for anyone eating low carb or interested in eating low carb.

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Hungry for Change

Another terrific informative offering by the creators of Food Matters. This film focuses on the diet, weight loss and food industries and how they keep people locked in a vicious cycle trying one diet after another. Includes discussion about the addictive nature of processed products and the guaranteed failure of the products offered by the diet industry. Featuring Joe Cross (Fat Sick and Nearly Dead), Alejandro Junger (author of “Clean”), Jamie Oliver (Food Revolution), and many other well known authors, experts, and wellness advocates.

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