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

Pharmacy to Farmacy

Many of you may know Erin-- the fabulous Pharm D that worked in our office a few years back.  Erin is a phenomenal gal and we embarked on the journey  into natural medicine around the same time.  As we both 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

Natural Tips for Avoiding Colds

This cold and flu season is still upon us and unfortunately, many patients are still being plagued by these nasty viral symptoms.  Here are a few tips to try if you feel like you are coming down with something. Of Read more

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

weight loss

Intimidated by an Eggplant

So I received an eggplant in my Green Bean Delivery organic veggie bin and I had no idea what to do with it.  I have ordered eggplant parmesan out at a restaurant before and liked it.  However, my novice cooking skills have made me quite intimidated to buy one and actually cook it myself.  Not to mention my girls have automatic scowl mode ingrained when they see a plate that isn’t filled with mac-n-cheese or pizza.  Here is a great recipe by Irene Young passed down by her mother Linda from the village of Mesta, Xios, Greece.

 

 

 

Linda’s Summer Vegetables

1 lb eggplant cut into chunks

1 zucchini, cut into chunks

       sea salt

olive oil- 1/2 cup

1/2 lb trimmed, fresh green beans

2 large potatoes diced

2 large bell peppers diced

2 large carrots sliced

2-3 cloves of garlic

2 medium onions

6-8 mushrooms

2 lbs ripe tomatoes quartered

1/2 cup parsley chopped

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Clean eggplant and zucchini and cut into chunks and salt—then let sit for 1-2 hours–this is called bleeding the eggplant which helps take the bitterness out of the meat and draws the moisture out so that the eggplant doesn’t absorb too much liquid when cooking.

2.  Pat the eggplant dry and saute in olive oil.  Then add a dash more oil and add the green beans, potatoes, peppers, carrots and mushrooms;  cook for 15 minutes and then add onions and garlic; cook 5 minutes and add tomatoes and parsley; cook for 10 more minutes.

3.  Place the vegetable mixture in an oven-safe dish.  Cover and bake for 45 min at 350 degrees.  Add cheese and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.

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

Emotional Eating

This topic is near to my heart right now.  As many of you know, our family of 6 at home drastically dropped in the last two weeks.  Alex moved out into a house with her highschool best friend and we toted Ciara off to IU to start her freshman year.  I didn’t think I would take the change so hard.  I completely melted down –crying, emotional outbursts, and binge eating!  In that one weekend, I consumed enough pizza, chicken fingers, nachos, ice cream and potato chips to sink the Bismark!  Unfortunately, the binge triggered all the old cravings for those nasty players again.  I have found myself no longer practicing what I preach!  This video from one of my favorite bloggers gives a nice plan and explanation for change.  It’s a little lengthy but, realistic.

Visit her site  http://www.lindawagner.net for more informational posts—you can also click the healthy eating link on the right to go directly to her great blog!

First day of kindergarten to first day of college

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

Another Great Post from Kevin Deeth!

There are a few important things to consider in the pre-workout meal discussion. Timing, size, and content are the three key factors in choosing a great meal that will give you optimal performance levels.
Timing– Ideally, a meal should be eaten between 2 and 3 hours before a workout in order to give your body time to fully digest the protein, carbohydrates, and sugar that will be converted to fuel to power you through those grueling last few reps. For all you earlier birds, I don’t expect you to wake up at 3 Am to make an omelette. So your meal and portion size will be much different.
Size– Portion size is extremely important because you don’t want to feel bogged down or bloated during a workout. On that same token ensuring your muscles are properly fueled is vital to prevent muscle degredation. The preworkout meal and time before workout are directley correlated. The farther away you are from a workout (say 3 hours) the bigger your meal (probably full size). If you are grabbing something 15-20 minutes before it should be much smaller and generally in liquid form so it is easily digestable.
Content-An ideal pre-workout meal should consist of 20-30 grams of protein to keep your body in an anabolic state to prevent muscle breakdown during your workout. Along with the protein, 20-30 grams of low glycemic carbohydrates is also advisable.

A 2-3 hour prior example 

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A turkey/chicken breast, spinach & tomato omelette with a small serving of steel cut oats. Low glycemic carbohydrates such as spinach and steel cut oats will be converted to energy and used as fuel during your workout. Low glycemic carbohydrates will keep your insulin from spiking which can lead an energy crash mid-workout. This meal is also low in fat and fiber which will make it easy to digest.

Ingredients

  • 2 whole cage free eggs
  • ½ cup spinach
  • ½ turkey/chicken breast
  •  ¼ cup dice tomatoes
  •  ½ cup cooked steel cut oats with cinnamon and blueberries

Nutritional Facts

  • Calories-400
  • Protein-30 grams
  • Carbohydrates-30 grams
  • Fat-6 grams
  • Fiber-8 grams

I like to workout in the late mornings so the first thing I do when I wake up is start off with a great breakfast that has an adequate source of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and fat. The protein will ensure there is no muscle breakdown and give your body a steady stream of fuel and amino acids through your workout. The carbs will be converted to energy while the fiber and fat will keep you feeling full throughout the pre-workout/workout period. Adequate hydration is also vital to prepare you body for a successful workout. Ensuring your muscles are hydrated will prevent cramping and optimize performance.

Now, for the early birds. (15-45 minutes before workout)

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Home made protein shake

My protein shake is very generic but an effective, homemade recipe. I shoot for a 1:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio made with the following ingredients.

  • 1 cup unsweetened Almond Milk
  •  1/2 serving plain unflavored greek yogurt
  •  1 tbsp chia seeds
  •  ¼ cup of blueberries
  •  ½ banana
  •   1 scoop of unflavored 100% whey isolate protein powder (20-30 grams)
  •  3 grams of glutamine
  •   Ice cubes

Nutritional facts

  • Calories-300
  • Protein-25 grams
  • Carbohydrates- 30 grams
  • Fiber- 12 grams

A 2:1 or 1:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio is ideal for refueling your muscles and replacing glycogen levels. Drink this shake within 30 minutes of your workout, or 30 minutes prior, to ensure your muscles receive healthy carbohydrates and protein from natural sources to rebuild muscle tissue that has been broken down during a workout. A liquid meal, such as a protein shake, is absorbed more quickly than solid food. The addition of fruit will help you restore your glycogen levels and transport protein to your muscles. Using natural foods such as fruit and unflavored yogurt will stabilize blood sugar levels and not cause a severe insulin spike that you get with most “store-bought” shakes due to the large amount of processed sugars and additives that are present.  The combination of chia seeds, fruit, yogurt, and almond milk provides an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. With such a wide array of products and additives that are present in many supplements and shakes, I always recommend people make their own, using unprocessed ingredients, to ensure your muscles receive the most bang for your buck. Here is a tip: Make your shake the night before and store it in the fridge to save yourself the hassle and cleanup in the morning.

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Generally a medium-sized meal is recommended 2 hours before your workout to give your body a chance to digest and convert the food before you lift. With that being said, every person is different. Finding out what works best for you in terms of energy levels, muscle growth, and recovery is the most important thing. Whatever you do make sure you have a steady stream of energy to you can power through a tough workout.

Sorry about the recent hiatus and thanks for reading. Let me know if you have any comments or questions.

From South Bend,

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

Ranch Dressing

Nothing goes better with those raw veggies than ranch dressing!  I am personally addicted to ranch and would eat it with almost anything.  However, with my recent nutritional education journey-I have decided that it’s time to substitute my processed version of this sugar loaded dressing with something a little healthier–Here is what I tried–

Paleo Ranch Dressing

1 cup olive oil

1 cup coconut milk (use canned for thick texture)

1 Tbs dijon mustard

1 tbs onion powder

1 tbs garlic powder

2 tsp Dill

1 Tbs apple cider vinegar

1 tsp chives

4 Tbs lemon juice

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp parsley

Combine all the ingredients in the blender or the Ninja and Voila!  A healthy version of Ranch!

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

Essential Oils

 

Ever wonder why you immediately feel calm and relaxed when you walk into a spa for that much-anticipated massage after a long week?  The aroma of the spa is invigorating and uplifting.  Spas often use essential oils that have positive effects on the hypothalamus and limbic system in our brains.  Thus, they immediately relax us and detoxify our thoughts.  Our noses know exactly how to harness the healing power of plants which is why oils can be so effective in the healing process.  Essential oils have been used for centuries in traditional cultures for purification and medicinal purposes.  Essential oils can be inhaled as well as applied topically to penetrate cell membranes thus enhancing cellular function.

Beware–when buying essential oils, quality is key.  Synthetic oils found in most health food stores can be toxic.  They are created with solvents and high heat that damages the plants.  The companies that make them also often use chemicals to extend their shelf life.  You must get therapeutic grade oils that use steam distillation as a water extraction process and not chemicals

For more info on essential oils visit:

http://www.essentialthree.com

 http://www.youngliving.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Diet, Mind, Nutrition, Spirit Leave a comment

Tea–by Kevin Deeth

Thanks Kevin for keeping us updated!

Based on last week’s blog on coffee I decided to discuss another great beverage. I get a lot of questions about what people should drink and the only options I ever recommend are the choices I adhere to myself in coffee, tea, water, unsweetened almond milk, and yes occasionally alcohol.  So lets talk about tea and all the great benefits that come along with it’s consumption.

Tea Statistics
Pounds of tea imported to the U.S. each year 519 million pounds
Total amount of tea consumed in the U.S. every day 1.42 million pounds
Number of men and women who drink tea every morning 2 billion
Total projected sales of tea for U.S. in 2012 $15 billion

Although not as popular as coffee in the US, tea is still widely consumed and is a staple for many americans. Lets look at some of the benefits.

1. Tea Is Loaded With Antioxidants

  • Tea is loaded with phytonutrients such as antioxidants.  Antioxidants in black and green tea, called flavonoids, may help to maintain healthy cells and tissues as well as contribute to healthy cardiovascular function. Antioxidants are natural plant based biochemicals that prevent oxidation or “rusting” of living tissues.
  • Tea can also help strengthen your immune system because its attack on bacteria, free radicals, viruses, and fungi.
  • A study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School found that people who drank five cups of a tea were able to beat a cold five times faster than coffee drinkers were.

2. Tea Is Calorie-free And Helps Promote Fat Loss

  • So many people “watch what they eat” but ruin there otherwise healthy diets with sodas, loaded coffees, juices, shakes, smoothies, and energy drinks.
  • Tea is naturally calorie free and gives you your flavor fix while not costing empty calories found in most other beverages
  • Research indicates that substances found in green tea known as catechins and EGCG may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat.
  • Recent research in animals show that catechins and EGCG found in green tea may also affect body fat accumulation and cholesterol levels.

3. Tea Increases Your Metabolism.

  • Drinking green tea or oolong tea offers the combined benefits of caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up the metabolism for a couple hours.
  • Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may push the body to burn 17% more calories than normal during moderately intense exercise for a short period of time.

4. Tea Reduces Risk of Stroke, Cancer, and Heart Disease

  • One study shows that Eight hundred elderly Dutch men consuming 3.4 cups of tea per day decreased their risk of death from coronary heart disease by 58 percent compared to those who consumed lesser amounts of flavonoid rich foods.
  • Flavonoids in tea may also decrease the tendency of platelets to stick together that cause heart disease and stroke.
  • Studies suggest that both black and green tea may help prevent or delay the formation of tumors-specifically in the skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, and colon.
  • Green tea, according to Harvard Health Publications, has cancer inhibiting components called catechins. Specifically, studies have shown it to reduce the risk of skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder cancer.

5. Each Variety Contains a Unique Blend Of Health/Nutritional Benefits.

  • Green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia.
  • Black tea a potential heart tonic,cancer blocker, fat buster, immune stimulant, arthritis soother, virus fighterand cholesterol detoxifier.
  • White tea is the least processed tea and has the highest antioxidant levels, protects against cancer, heart disease, and stroke, strengthens the circulatory and immune systems as well as bones and teeth, and builds healthy skin.
  • Red tea contains magnesium, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system,  increases the absorption of iron in the body, contains potassium and copper minerals that are necessary for several metabolic functions, helps nervous tension and mild depression as it makes a relaxing sedative.

Conclusion

While I am a big proponent of caffeiene and specifically its impact on health and performance, tea offers a lower caffienated alternative to coffee with the typical cup containing about 10-60 mg of caffiene. Besides the obvious health benefits tea is versatile in that you can drink it both hot (winter) and cold (summer) and reap all its benefits. Like I stated earlier, anytime you can substitute a beverage that contains numerous health benefits for a sugar loaded juice, pop, or sports drink, is a no-brainer.

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

From South Bend,

Kevin
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Childhood Obesity

There is no controversy over the fact that childhood obesity is a huge problem in the United States.  More than enough data and research has been done to prove that 1 in 5 American children will be obese by 2020 if the current trends continue.  These are the facts, but what can we do to change things?  There are many possible actions but it all starts at the home level.  We can be more successful as parents by leading by example.  For instance, making my girls watch “Forks Over Knives” and “Hungry For Change” was a real battle;  they did however get some subliminal messages from watching those two documentaries.  I noticed they replaced the traditional peanut butter cracker after school snack with fruit.  They get more messages from me as they see me painfully wean my diet mtn dew consumption.  Changing a lifestyle and years of bad habits isn’t easy.  My theory is that if I change myself gradually, they will also.  Research shows that replacing sugar-sweetened beverages in schools could reduce obesity by 12 kcal/day, as long as children didn’t consume any extra sugary drinks outside of school.   So that is my call to action, I have to eliminate the sugar at home first.   There aren’t any distinct answers in how to change the diet of the country and healthcare on average.  But, it starts with us!  Let’s do this Marines.  Let’s work to educate ourselves on whole foods and nutrition.  Lead by example.

T. Colin Campbell does a nice 18min presentation that you can watch here:

Reference:  Wang YC, et al “Reaching the Healthy People goals for reducing childhood obesity:  closing the energy gap”  A, K Prev Med 2012

For more info on T. Colin Campbell and Forks Over Knives visit:  http://www.forksoverknives.com

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Diet, Exercise, Family, Nutrition, vegan, Weight Loss, Whole Food 1 Comment

Magical MUFA’S

Ever wonder why that belly fat is the hardest to lose?  It’s because we aren’t eating enough magical MUFA’S.  Monounsaturated fatty acids are the perfect antidote to a fat belly!  These plant-based fats are healthy because they are organic elements.  They combine to form a flexible chain that flows through your arteries –because they are flexible, they don’t get stuck on the walls of the arteries and cause corruption.  Saturated fats, on the other hand, are sticky and inflexible—-they gum up those arteries.

We can declog those pipes by adding more monounsaturated fats into our diet like oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, and dark chocolate.  Go for adding a MUFA at every meal!

Here’s a great recipe from super foodie Kathy–AngelaMD’s wellness expert!

 

Belly Fat Fighting Black Bean Salsa

1 cup black beans –soaked overnight to prevent gas and cooked

(if you must, use canned beans but rinse and drain them well)

8 ounces fresh or frozen corn

1 large tomato diced

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/2 avocado diced

Dress with

1/2 Tb red wine vinegar

2 Tb lime juice (fresh squeezed is best)

1 Tb olive oil

Mix together and enjoy those MUFA’s fighting off that waistline!

You’re SEXY and you know it!

Magic Mike–here we come with our MUFA’S

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

How to argue with a vegetarian

I’m constantly asked, “What diet are you endorsing?  Vegan, Vegetarian, Adkins, Southbeach, Paleo etc”  I’m not actually endorsing any one diet per say.  My philosophy includes eating more whole foods!  It’s not actually any specific diet.  As we know, the whole dieting paradigm is flawed.  We have to make lifestyle changes in order to get healthy in the mind, body, and spirit realm.  Although, all the different types of diet schemes have their benefits.  I believe that we make choices every time we put something into our bodies, including food, drink, products and especially thoughts.  When we think negatively, our minds allow us to make poor choices.  The main take away point at this part of my nutrition learning curve is to cut out processed foods.  Eat clean and pure.  But also, think clean and pure.  Eliminate toxic people and emotions from your life.  To quote Wiz Khalifa “If you believe you can do it, then you can do it.  I don’t follow no cliché, I live to be that way.  I don’t try to be different, I try to be me and people think that’s different.”  Denise Minger sums up a big difference between the Paleo diet and the Vegan/Vegetarian diet differences in this excerpt from the Real Food Summit this last week.  It may help explain some differences of thought.  Just more food for thought.

See her site at http://rawfoodsos.com

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

Take Charge Day!

Let’s do this Marines!  We are superheros!

Posted on by Angela in Body, Call to action, Diet, disease, Exercise, Mind, Nutrition, Spirit, Weight Loss, Whole Food Leave a comment