More Homemade Salad Dressings

Blackberry Balsamic Vinaigrette 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil 1 tsp local honey 1/3 cup blackberries   Process all the ingredients together in a blender and then season with ground pepper and sea salt The beauty of this recipe Read more

Healthy Mayo and Ranch Dressing

This stuff is a must -- If you read labels these days you will be hard pressed to find a mayonnaise or salad dressing that doesn't contain some type of vegetable oil.  Even the commercial mayos that advertise to Read more

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

So I got a little wicked crazy this weekend and decided to splurge on some pizza.  We do gluten-free carry out around here sometimes, but my future son-in-law inspired me to make my own cauliflower pizza crust. He made Read more

Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

Here's a throwback post that is certainly appropriate for this October weekend.  This smoothie matches the season and will be a great way to start the lovely fall day. Thanks to Smoothie Queen Amy for this great recipe I can't wait Read more

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread So I have been struggling with gluten-free baking because honestly -- I've never been good at baking!!  Then when I try to modify recipes using flours I'm not familiar with, it just makes  a perfect storm of Read more

When Should I Take My Supplements?

If you are like me -- you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet.  Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet;  the mineral content of the soil Read more

Magnesium-the unloved mineral

Do you remember watching Wild Kingdom as a kid?  Did you happen to notice that the animals attacking their prey would immediately eat the organ meats.  I never really thought about why until I listened to Morley Robbins explain the Read more

Sherry's Story

Sherry has a great story.  She has been diabetic for years and she has made some massive changes!   "I have been on a lifestyle change. It has been a year following a ketogenic food plan.  When I started this journey Read more

health

Pea Juice!

A big thanks to Green Bean Delivery this week for providing our family with the perfect combinations of fruits and veggies to give our family a jump-start each am this week.  Emma slept in this am (much-needed rest for a very tired little 5 yo who played hard outside yesterday) and this fabulous forty-year old made PEA JUICE.  Yep, you got it! Pea juice.  I stole this little concoction from  http://www.juicingadvice.com

 

Pea Juice

1 bag of sugar snap peas

1 honeydew melon

fresh ginger

Throw the sugar snap peas (pod and all) into the juicer.  While that is juicing, chop the ginger (a little goes a long way) and cut the melon rind away and de seed the melon.  Then throw that in and serve chilled with some ice and yippee!  A healthy morning PEA!

Eat those veggies folks–but, if you can’t stand to eat them—Juice them!

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Forty is the New Thirty

So I hit the big 40 yesterday!  I thought I would be depressed and sad.  Instead, I was thrilled!  With age comes experience, with experience comes wisdom, and with wisdom –confidence.  My crazy office family welcomed me with quite a production!  Then, I spent the evening with my beautiful family!  I have to laugh at their choice of posters to harass me with!  My poor friends and family are so sick of hearing me rant about eating healthy that they chose to really get me back!  They even made me eat fried chicken and brownies!  And yes, I felt kinda sick after.  When you walk the health food path for a while–you don’t miss the bad stuff.  Thanks to Kevin Deeth for the concept of the Cheat day because I can completely appreciate it now!  And thank you to all my friends and family for continuing to support my dream!  If you believe it–you can do it.  No matter how crazy anyone thinks you are!

 

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food 2 Comments

Running Barefoot–by Kevin Deeth

Our feet are the only part of our anatomy that touches the ground to transmit all the force that we spend so much time developing in the rest of our body. Think about that –  the only part of our anatomy to touch the ground when we run or jump – and most of us spend little to no time developing strength, mobility and proprioception in the feet.”

Although a growing trend, this training technique is nothing new.  There are many pictures from the ‘70s of Arnold Schwarzenegger and his buddies training barefoot.  Not only a more natural way to train, going barefoot or minimalist provides some very real performance advantages.Bunions, corns, hammer toes, Achilles shortening, athlete’s foot, and ingrown nails are just some of the issues associated with training in shoes.

The Science

The architecture of the hand and the foot are almost identical. So what would happen if you had incredibly weak hands? If you have incredibly weak hands then you can’t pick anything up and if you can’t pick anything up then the arms, back and legs can’t get strong –  and it would be easy to see that if the arm isn’t strong then it’s also more susceptible to injury. It only seems right that the same principle applies to the foot.

The Benefits

No Heel-The lift caused by the heel of a traditional shoe alters the body’s center of balance on its vertical axis.  This shifts the weight slightly forward and as a result the body compensates by exaggerating the lumbar curve.

Uneven Cushion-When weight is applied in the direction of gravity (such as in the case of squats) the foam compresses unevenly and inconsistently introducing an element of instability into the lift.  This can lead to less weight per lift. As the lifter attempts to move the weight against the pull of gravity (as in the case of a deadlift) the compression of the cushioning fails to transfer all of the lifters energy to the ground or lifting platform which robs the lifter of the full benefit of his or her efforts.

Increased Balance And Posture-There is no substitute for the bare foot when it comes to improving posture.  Proper posture leads to improved technique which allows you to lift more weight more efficiently and more safety.

Yoga Like Benefits-One major difference can be seen in yoga class. The feet of those who have been performing yoga barefoot for a lifetime are different than those who may have just begun. Well-formed arches and un-cramped toes are often the results of barefoot training.

No More Shin Splints– The subtly raised heel and the added arch support of the average training shoe change the natural mechanics of the foot. In short, time spent in a raised heel unnaturally tightens the calf muscle and lengthens the shin muscle. Calf cramps and shin splints are often directly caused by shortened calves and lengthened shins.

Reduced Joint Pain– Artificially supported shoes can force unnatural pressure into the knees, spine, and even neck. One way to naturally strengthen the arch and shin, relax the calf, improve overall ankle stability, and promote proper muscle alignment is to train barefoot.

Less Impact– “People who don’t wear shoes when they run have an astonishingly different strike.” “By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel-strike.

Negatives

The Shock Factor-Suddenly going barefoot or wearing a minimal shoe can be quite a shock to the foot and require a slow adaptation phase. Like anything exposing new movements and training regiments at full force can cause injury overuse.

Why Fix What Isn’t Broken-If you have no problems and no pain, do you really need to change anything?

Gym Rules-Many gyms don’t allow you to train barefoot

Dirty And Unsafe Surfaces– Shoes can provide protection from glass, dirt, and other random debris that can cause foot damage. But lets be honest, if you drop a weight on your foot than you are going to be hurting either way.

Blisters-Almost everyone who switches to a minimal shoe or starts going shoeless will find themselves battling blisters for the first few weeks until calluses are formed.

Conclusions

It seems petty but strengthening your foot is an essential part of strengthening the entire lower limb. I think the hand analogy describes it best. What would happen if you had incredibly weak hands? If you have incredibly weak hands then you can’t pick anything up and if you can’t pick anything up then the arms, back and legs can’t get strong. It seems like the same principle should apply to the foot. That is why I  am recommending that people give this a shot. I have always been an advocate of eating things as they are found in their natural state. I have the same ideas towards exercise. Whether it is choosing the treadmill over the elliptical, free weights over machines, or barefoot over shoes, always go with the most natural form of stuff. Start off by incorporating a few exercises and build up to an entire barefoot workout. If you are a germ freak and can bear the weird look of them, give Vibrams a shot  http://www.vibramfivefingers.com/index.htm.

 

For more great information from Kevin visit:  http://kevindeeth.wordpress.com

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The Celebration Diet

Our friend Kate Chaplin has a charming book entitled “The Celebration Diet” that is a welcome addition to any plan to get healthy.  This blog embraces the mind, spirit, and body.  After all, how can your body be healthy when your mind is cluttered by stress and you start losing faith and spirit?  Kate offers some great ideas on how to center your mind to help improve your overall health!  You can purchase a copy at http://katechaplin.wordpress.com/  Here is an excerpt worth reading.  Thanks Kate for making a difference!

 

 

 

 

“Every January, I make a resolution to lose weight. The year starts with great progress; I am eating healthy and exercising. There are a few holidays and birthdays of long distance friends and relatives, but no parties or triple-layered chocolate cakes to dodge. Then BAMB! We are in February through June, otherwise known as my “weight gaining season”.

Valentine’s Day is the warm up. Some flowers and a few chocolates but I am still on track. What I do not realize is that the Ides of March are fast approaching. In which lies my father’s birthday and my birthday. Somewhere in March, there will be cake and ice cream. I think to myself, “It’s my birthday, I deserve a treat.”

No sooner do I reward myself than my anniversary approaches. “We have to celebrate our anniversary at a nice restaurant” I say. A few glasses of wine later the power to resist the sweets, fats and carbs are fading away.

May comes along with my husband, daughter, and brother’s birthday and they will definitely want cake and why not they each weigh a buck-twenty. Soon Mother’s Day approaches which inevitably will be a repeat of Valentine’s Day filled with flowers and candy. Before I know it, swimsuit season is upon us and I have gained at least ten pounds. It’s the celebrations that kill me. I knew I had discovered my Achilles heel and I had to come up with a way to celebrate without food”

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Green Living, Guest Blog, Humor, Nutrition, Uncategorized, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Peanut Butter Myths

Thanks Kevin for this post!  Patients ask daily about peanut butter and you sum it up beautifully.

Peanut butter is a household staple in the typical American diet. It is most commonly used on bread, fruit, vegetables, and crackers as a convenient and “healthy” spread. However, is peanut butter actually healthy? The short answer is yes, with shades of grey.

Important Things to Consider

1. NEVER buy peanut butter with fully or partially hydrogenated oils. This “ingredient” is in about 90% of commonly consumed peanut butters and is an immediate red flag that should be avoided.

2. There should never be more than 2 ingredients in your product. Peanuts and salt (preferably no salt added is the best option). Look for products with one ingredient, peanuts.  If no products have just one ingredient than opt for the product with 2 ingredients, peanuts and salt.

3. Always buy natural peanut butter with the oil on top. Yes, it is a little bit inconvenient to stir, but this is peanut butter in its natural/unprocessed state.

4. Dont be duped by marketing slogans such as “reduced fat” or “smart balance”. The only thing you should be looking at is the ingredient list.

5. Numerous studies have shown that people who regularly include nuts or peanut butter in their diets are less likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who rarely eat nuts.

6. Peanut butter is full of vitamins, minerals, and potassium and a great source of protein and calories. With that being said, if you are watching your total calorie intake keep in mind 1 serving of peanut butter (2 tbsp) has ~200 calories.

7. According to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, people who eat a diet high in foods like olive oil, avocados, and peanut butter are more likely to lose weight and keep it off than people following a more regimented, lower-fat diet.

Which Products To Avoid

Any peanut butter with more than 2 ingredients such as hydrogenated oils.

What To Choose

Natural Peanut Butters With Oil On Top And Contains Less Than 2 Ingredients

Notice the ingredients.  Peanuts… That’s it!

or

Natural, Raw, Almond Butter

  • The same principle applies to almond butter. Look for products where the ingredients listed are just almonds. Any unnecessary oils, sugars, or salts, should tell you to avoid that particular product which has gone through more processing with artificial additives to increase taste and shelf life.

Conclusion

Yes peanut butter is healthy. I use natural peanut and almond butter on broccoli, celery, half an apple, or half a banana.  Peanut butter paired with a fruit or vegetable can make for a great snack or side dish. Where people start to run into trouble is when they start mixing peanut butter with sugary jams and processed bread. 99% of Jam is fake/artificial sugar and when you couple that with 25-45 grams of processed carbohydrates from bread the once “healthy” peanut butter it can be transformed into a sugar and carb loaded nightmare. But to answer the question of the article,YES, 1 serving of natural peanut butter or almond butter is healthy as long as you are mixing it with the right foods.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

Kevin
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, disease, Exercise, Nutrition, Organic, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Juicing

I am frequently glanced at oddly in the hallways of the hospital when people see me carrying in my ball jar full of juice for breakfast.  If it is green, I get eye rolls or mysterious lurks.  Since my staff and I are all experimenting with juicing and recipes for tasty juice, I thought I would explain the differences between juicers.

Centrifugal vs Masticating

Centrifugal juicers work at high speeds and tend to be noisy.  They are wonderful at juicing fruits and vegetables quickly and are easy to clean.  However, they can juice green leafy vegetables but are not as efficient as a masticating juicer.

A masticating  juicer is especially good at juicing the green leafy vegetables such as wheatgrass, spinach, parsley, cilantro, kale, Swiss Chard.  One benefit of a masticating juicer is that it requires less veggies to create more juice than a centrifugal juicer.  It can also be used to make baby food, pasta, nut butter and ground meat.

I have a centrifugal juicer now since I am still a novice.  Eventually, I may upgrade.  I found my Omega 3 juicer at Georgetown Market for under $150.  There are juicers that are much less expensive and work well.

Tonight–I will be adding Kale and Parsley to my juice and disguising it in a colored glass so my kids will try it before they realize that it is green.  Baby steps and devious manuevers are required by this mom to change our family’s diet

 This is my juicer–so far so good although it is rather loud.

 Here is a link to a great article that is much more in depth on the differences in juicers —please check it out

 http://www.juicingwithg.com/types-of-juicers/

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Sugar, Sugar, Sugar

Thanks to my fabulous patient Annie for sharing this with us!  Sometimes a picture says more than words.

What A Unique Way To Present This

 

 

4.2 grams = 1 teaspoon of sugar = 1 cube !


Someone ought to get an award for this. We know the facts, but this
brings it into perspective quickly, doesn’t it?

Each cube is a teaspoonful.

Now someone needs to do this with salt!

‘When someone shares something of value
with you and you benefit from it, you have
a moral obligation to share it with others.”
So send it on!!         

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Spice up your life!

Besides coffee, I love tea and one of my favorites is chai. Chai has a combination of spices that are a blast to your palette and offer great health benefits. True confession, I got really excited to remember how much I love spice when I made homemade ravioli with spinach, ricotta and nutmeg tonight. At least the nutmeg was good for me….

Cinnamon – cholesterol, diabetes, inflammation, cognition
Nutmeg – digestion, asthma, memory, anxiety, depression
Cardamom – asthma, bronchitis, digestion, circulation
Anise – cold and flu, laxative, diuretic
Cloves – analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, ulcers, indigestion
Black Pepper – digestion, nasal congestion, metabolism, respiration
For most people on a normal diet, spices are a win-win food. They add flavor to otherwise bland foods and have a lot more going for them. Check out this interesting article online that addresses the antioxidant power of spices, promoted by McCormick as their seven super spices [article].
Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Exercise, Guest Blog, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment

Sweet Tooth!

Thanks Dee!

Unlike a lot of women I meet, I am fortunate in not having a sweet tooth. My husband got the sweet tooth in our family. I can generally walk by a plate of cookies all weekend without much temptation to eat one. I do have another weakness. I’ve been known to eat the crispy-salty chicken skin off of everyone’s chicken before it gets to the table. And I’ve had periods of time where I popped and ate a whole bag of microwave popcorn by myself at night. My sister recommended kosher salt on edamame as a salty substitute. Sometimes it works but sometimes not. Here is one thing I’ve learned about good days and bad days in eating well. If I manage to walk by the cookies and refrain from grabbing a couple of cheese puffs, I can manage to stay strong all day and night. But once I let myself slip a little bit — thinking I’ll just eat one Lay’s potato chip or a quarter of a brownie — I’m a goner. Here’s the good part to that: I can also keep a good thing going once I start my day off with flavorful fruits, fun salads and crunchy veggie combinations. Having other people in my house that have very different eating habits is definitely a huge hurdle to jump. I don’t buy bags of chips or snacks, but my husband does, with dip. He also brings home cakes and pastries and fires up the deep fryer at 10 pm to toss in some Buffalo wings. Dieting is hard enough when you don’t have people around who unintentionally sabotage your best day’s work. I guess that’s life though. Lots of women my age are consumed by diets and weight and appearance. We all want it to be easy and it’s not. Still, I have no doubt that it’s going to be worth all of the hard work. I’m not sticking to the plan as 100% perfectly as I would hope, but I’m moving in the right direction. When tempted, remember to just say no!

http://www.gettingthebestoffood.com/

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Drink Water!

Yes, thirst can very well be mistaken for water. One great tip for eating less is to drink a glass of water before each meal. In general, adults should drink about eight glasses of water a day. It’s harder than you’d think. I’ve never managed to drink my daily allotment of water. The best trick I’ve found for this is to drink 16 ounces three times a day…that’s still not enough but much better than no water. Keep an extra large glass at home and at work to fill and “chug” in the morning, at lunchtime or throughout your work day, and then again when you get home. Here is a fun site that gives you some tips on how to learn to identify your body’s cues for thirst and hunger. Remember that colas, coffee and teas — although made with water — don’t count as water. Many beverages can actually dehydrate your body. Hmm, just typing this today is making me thirsty. I’m going to get a drink and get my big water glass out!

Posted on by Angela in Guest Blog, Nutrition, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment