Happy Thanksgiving 2017

As we prepare here in the US to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who takes time out of their busy lives to read what I have to share. I truly appreciate it more than I can say. I hope you are looking forward to celebrating this beautiful holiday with loved ones whether family or friends or both.

I hope you take the time each day to be grateful for all your blessings in life. We all have challenges and times of difficulty, and seeing some of the things happening in the world can be discouraging, but there is always something to be thankful for.

Below are links to some past blog posts on this very subject, and I hope they bless you – again!

Health and Well-Being: More Effective than Any Drug

Brain Health: Why Gratitude is Powerful

Healthy Living: Gratitude Can Slow Aging

Health and Longevity: More Gratitude Benefits that May Surprise You

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Emotional Health, Gratitude, Overall Health and Wholeness, Soul Health, Spiritual Health | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dental Health: 3 Surprising Ways Food Impacts It

If I asked you what you thought was the most important diet/dental link, what would you say? Would you say not eating candy and sugary foods because they cause cavities? You certainly wouldn’t be wrong. If you said eating a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits is good for healthy teeth, again you wouldn’t wrong. The typical high sugar, Western or SAD diet are definitely working against dental health.  But for most people, it would end there.

Certainly eating a lot of processed foods which typically contain artificial additives and sweeteners (in lieu of sugar, but not any better!) will not provide the nutrition to keep your teeth healthy. Unfortunately in this fast-food world in which we live, many people default to fast foods or processed foods because of being perpetually busy and short on time. We are all busy and we all have the same 24 hours so for me this isn’t a good enough excuse. We make time for whatever we deem to be important. So it’s more about setting priorities but that’s a topic for another post.

What we are learning now is that the kind of food you eat affects your mouth in another way. It changes the composition of the bacteria. Consider this statement by Professor Alan Cooper, ACAD Director:

“The composition of oral bacteria changed markedly with the introduction of farming, and again around 150 years ago. With the introduction of processed sugar and flour in the Industrial Revolution, we can see a dramatically decreased diversity in our oral bacteria, allowing domination by caries-causing strains. The modern mouth basically exists in a permanent disease state.”

DNA preserved in calcified bacteria on the teeth of ancient human skeletons reveals how the changing diet and behavior from the Stone Age to the modern day has impacted dental health. It shows how the dietary shifts as we moved from hunter/gatherers to agricultural to manufactured foods has caused negative changes in our oral bacteria.

1.Carbohydrates like grains and refined sugar cause a specific type of oral bacteria to be released in order to digest the particles or ‘residue’ of carbs that are left behind on your teeth after you eat. This particular bacteria mixes with your saliva and forms plaque, which eats away at tooth enamel and causes cavities.

Cavities became common when grains were introduced into our diets.

Often when people avoid animal protein in an effort to improve their health, they add in grains to replace them. We begin digesting grains in our mouths so when you increase how much you consume you are doing a lot of this digestive work and it can’t help but affect your teeth. If you are getting more cavities, maybe it is in part due to increasing the amount of grains you are eating.

2.Also, it may surprise you to know eating a low fat diet can negatively impact your dental health. You need healthy fats in order to absorb and utilize fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. Vitamins D and K are especially critical to dental health since they are needed in order to absorb calcium and deposit it where it is needed – in bones and teeth.

3.If you eat a mostly plant based diet that includes beans, legumes, nuts and seeds, you should be aware that those very healthy foods contain phytic acid which inhibits your ability to absorb the minerals in those foods.  It’s also been found to hinder absorption of vitamin D as well.You don’t have to stop eating them, you just have to soak and/or sprout them in order to deactivate the phytic acid so your body has access to the minerals so important to your gums and teeth.

Is it possible your diet could be causing your dental problems?

**It’s cold and flu season but you don’t have to catch every bug that comes your way. I share my best recipes and strategies to keep yourself and your family healthy and avoid all the nasty bugs going around. Find it all here in my e-book, Natural First Aid Kit.

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

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Nutrition: Do Vegans and Vegetarians Live Longer

I know and work with people who ascribe to all different diets for various reasons. I don’t particularly like to use labels because I think diet should be fluid and change as the needs in life arise. I don’t consider myself any specific label. A gentleman asked me if I was a WFPB eater. I had no idea what that was so I looked it up and I think it comes closest to describing how I eat most of the time – whole food, plant based, but with quality animal protein.

In the past I’ve even called myself a “qualitarian” – the quality of the food whether animal foods or produce is what matters most to me. A vegetarian who eats genetically modified fruits and vegetables and lots of grains is definitely not going to be healthier than someone who chooses grass-fed, pasture-raised and wild-caught animal foods along with organic produce. So it’s not quite as cut and dried as some would have you believe. That’s why I say:

Eating meat as opposed to a totally vegetarian or vegan diet doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the food.

Dr. Mark Hyman author of Eat Fat, Get Thin says:

“It’s not easy to know for sure what is the ‘truth.’ Vegan diet studies show they help with weight loss, reverse diabetes, and lower cholesterol. Diets high in fat and animal protein seem to do the same thing. Essentially, each scientist (or even each person reading the research) with a point of view adheres to his or her position with near religious fervor. And each can point to studies validating his or her perspective.”

I think Dr. Hyman hit the nail on the head and I totally agree. Besides the fact that quality of food is of the utmost importance, each person’s metabolism and biochemistry is different. And their system can change over time and during specific seasons in life. What worked well in your 20’s may not be so good for you at 45. That was certainly my experience and how I came to develop my Today’s the Day Plan.

While studies show vegan diets help with weight loss, it is not true for me. This is why I do not think anyone can say with 100% certainty that any one particular diet is “best” for everyone. This study bears that out. Regardless of what diet you choose or prefer, the ultimate goal is to live a longer, healthier life. And this study concluded “there was no significant difference in all-cause mortality for vegetarians versus non-vegetarians.”

So why don’t we stop trying to convince each other our way is best and each just make the best choices available for ourselves. It’s not a contest after all – we all seem to want the same thing: to live a long, healthy, active life. It makes no difference if we approach it in slightly different ways as long as the result is the same.

What constitutes a healthy diet for you?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Is Organic Worth the Extra Money

*This originally appeared in my weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report. Sign up here to be the first to get this exclusive content!

Every week I share information about a different food and almost always I strongly recommend buying organic. You may have wondered if it makes much of a difference so I thought I should address that issue. 

Before I even talk about whether purchasing certified organic foods is worth any extra money they may cost, it’s important to understand exactly what that label means. 

Right now it is the most meaningful label on your food, in terms of upholding specific government requirements. For a product to be certified organic, it’s required to meet specific standards: 

Organic crops cannot be grown with synthetic fertilizers, synthetic pesticides or sewage sludge. 

Organic crops cannot be genetically engineered or irradiated. 

Animals must eat only organically grown feed (without animal byproducts) and can’t be treated with synthetic hormones or antibiotics. 

Animals must have access to the outdoors, and ruminants (hoofed animals, including cows) must have access to pasture. 

Animals cannot be cloned. 

Why it’s Healthy:

If you are truly serious about preserving and restoring your health, nutrition is where it all begins. Think about it – from conception until the day we die, nutrition is foundational. So choosing clean, pure, nutrient-dense foods to truly nourish us at the cellular level is where physical health begins. 

There are definitely ways to save money and still buy organic and I’ll share some of my favorites below in the Secrets and Tips section. So here are the most important reasons to choose organic whenever you are able to: 

1)You reduce your toxic load by significantly lowering your exposure to pesticides and other harmful chemicals used in conventional agriculture. Why is that of utmost importance? Long-term pesticide exposure has been linked to infertility, birth defects, endocrine disruption, neurological disorders, and cancer. 

Organophosphates are among the most commonly used pesticides on American farms. Researchers evaluated the diets of nearly 4,500 people living in six US cities, assessing the level of exposure to organophosphates through their food consumption. 

Their findings were not surprising: those who ate conventionally-grown produce had high concentrations of these organophosphate metabolites, whereas those who ate organic produce had significantly lower levels. Those who “often or always” ate organic had about 65% lower levels of pesticide residues compared to those who ate the least amount of organic produce. 

Glyphosate, is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup. It is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world, both on conventional and genetically engineered plants. It is estimated that the average American eats several hundred pounds of glyphosate-contaminated food every year. It’s important to know that recently glyphosate was classified as a Class 2A probable carcinogen by a division of the World Health Organization.  

This refers specifically to organic produce, but in the case of meat and dairy, livestock are given all organic, hormone- and GMO-free feed; they are raised in their natural habitat, which means access to outdoors and disease is prevented with natural methods such as clean housing, rotational grazing, and healthy diet rather than antibiotics and other drugs. We now know that the use of antibiotics is creating antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. 

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) foods are plants whose DNA has been altered in ways that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding, most commonly in order to be resistant to pesticides or produce an insecticide and when you purchase certified organic food, you are also purchasing non-GMO food. By the way, no long term studies have ever been conducted to confirm the safety of GMO use, while some animal studies have indicated that consuming GMOs may cause internal organ damage, slowed brain growth, and thickening of the digestive tract. 

The only US beef that has been free of the fatal prion brain disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob, is organic. 

2) Organic foods provide more nutrients than conventionally grown.  (Continue here)

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

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Nutrition: Another Reason to Keep it Real

If you read this blog or my weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report you know I constantly recommend you focus your diet – regardless of how you choose to structure it – on fresh, whole, real one-ingredient foods. By that I am referring to foods that are ingredients, not ones that have ingredients listed on a package.

Well I came across this article on what is called the “Impossible Burger.” Evidently it is a plant-based burger product that has a taste and texture very much like the real thing, right down to the “blood.” It is being marketed as benefitting the environment and our health. If you avoid animal foods and are excited about the possibility of a better quality plant-based product, what you need to understand is what makes this product so much closer to a real burger?

Those qualities come from an ingredient produced by a genetically engineered yeast, soy-leghemoglobin. While it is true that soy-leghemoglobin is a natural substance found in the roots of soybean plants, what is used in these burgers is made in a lab, so not so natural after all. Genetically engineered anything raises red flags for me and this definitely doesn’t sound appetizing in the least. Even more alarming is the fact that this ingredient has not yet been consumed by people and there is no proof that it is safe to eat. This, of course, is not deterring the company manufacturing it from moving forward with the burger.

While the FDA has expressed concern over the safety, Impossible Foods is still allowed to sell it to unsuspecting consumers.

You can read the article above for more details but my purpose in sharing this is to alert you to what is out there and to urge you to always look further into any “new” exciting food products to be sure they truly are food!

I just wonder why we are always trying to improve on the perfect food God created to begin with.

What are your thoughts about the Impossible Burger?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.      

Posted in Children's Health, Digestive Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Weight Loss: Why Women Struggle So Much

There are myriad reasons why any one person, man or woman, might be struggling with weight loss. There are obvious reasons such as lack of activity, eating too many processed foods or just eating too much in general. There can be hormonal issues, food sensitivites or allergies, interactions with medications and digestive issues. However that’s not what I wanted to touch on in today’s post.

As a woman I deal primarily with women and I see something at work in women of all ages. I have a daughter in her 20’s and have worked with young women in their 20’s and early 30’s. I see them dealing with the stresses of beginning a career, navigating relationship issues, planning weddings, buying a home, starting a family and dealing with newborns. Just listing all those things stresses me out!

Many are working more than one job or working a full time job and either going to school to finish a degree part time or working a side job. That means often they are rushing from one job to another and usually healthy eating falls by the wayside. Often they are burning the candle at both ends to just get it all done and sleep suffers. And where do they fit in time to exercise?

Then you have women in their 40’s and beyond. While their children may be grown and out of the house, that doesn’t mean they are not impacted by whatever is going on in their children’s lives. I can personally attest to that. I heard someone say once that a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child and that is so true. If one of my children is going through a difficult time, it is as if it is happening to me.

Many women at this time are either re-entering the work force now that children are gone or are considering making a change, starting a side business or going part-time. They may be adjusting to a spouse’s retirement. They may be experiencing financial crises with these changes. They may also have become caretakers for elderly or ailing parents or relatives. Many have 20-something children who had to return home and that creates unique stresses all its own.

None of these things is easy and none of them are conducive to weight loss much less health and peace. We don’t often realize how powerfully stress, anxiety and lack of peace affects our ability to not only be truly healthy, but to be able to lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight.

Life is not necessarily easy or smooth all the time. We know this. As women we are usually the peacemakers, comforters, nurturers, encouragers and support systems for our spouses and families and this is a huge privilege. It is nothing new, however. Just read Proverbs 31 and you see this is how God created us as women.

If you see yourself in one of these descriptions and you are struggling to lose weight and find balance in your life, I want to encourage you. Thankfully we go through different seasons in life. For moms with small children know that this season will go by much more quickly than it seems to when you are in the midst of it. All my coaching addresses spirit, soul and body because health is more than the absence of illness or a certain number on the scale – it is wholeness. It begins, particularly for women, in putting yourself on the list.

That sounds so simple, and truly it is, but it is not always easy. Often things like guilt come into play. We are supposed to put others before ourselves and we’ve gotten so good at that we can feel guilty asking for help or taking time out for ourselves. But it isn’t an “either or” situation. It is definitely a process. As with all changes we make taking one baby step at a time usually works best. We don’t have to change everything all at once but we have to commit to making some gradual changes. You would be surprised at how supportive your family will be when you enlist their help in making changes.

Who knows, you may even encourage them to make their own healthy changes. We are all works in progress so whether we like it or not, change is our constant. Once you become aware of some things you can do to put yourself on the list, begin slowly incorporating them into your life and enlist your family’s help. If you need additional support and encouragement, contact me and let’s walk together toward wholeness.

In what ways can you begin putting yourself on the list as you work toward wholeness and weight loss?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

Posted in Emotional Health, Overall Health and Wholeness, Spiritual Health, Weight loss, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Healthy Aging: Why Maintaining Muscle is so Important

scrambled eggs with tomatoes and sausage with fennel

One of the principles of my Today’s the Day plan is having a form of clean protein at each meal. I’ve shared before that when I was younger – all the way through my 20’s and 30’s – and the beginning of my 40’s – I was essentially a vegetarian most of the time. I love veggies and I was definitely a pasta and bread girl. I never had a weight problem until my early 40’s when I began gaining weight even though I wasn’t doing anything different.

That spurred me on to developing my Today’s the Day plan. I began adjusting my meals to include a form of clean protein at each meal and to first limit and then eliminate starchy carbs and grains most days of the week and the weight came off easily. I have remained at my healthiest weight now for over 20 years following this plan.

Now that I am in my 60’s I am aware of the importance of maintaining muscle mass. I work out most days of the week and that includes weight training and HIIT. After reading Dr. Mercola’s excellent book on mitochondrial health, Fat for Fuel, I understand better why too much protein can activate metabolic pathways that can lead to cancer development. My plan has never recommended large amounts of protein – 3-4 oz. per meal – I have recently seen that this recommendation can be increased for those of us over 50.

It was also found that having protein throughout the day, not just for dinner or at one meal, helped build and preserve muscle more effectively. We are constantly breaking muscle down and building it up. In fact this is how strength training builds muscle. However, as we age, muscle protein breaks down more quickly than it is rebuilt so we need to provide a little more of the raw material our bodies need to keep us strong on a consistent basis.

While we have most likely been more concerned with maintaining a certain weight earlier in our lives, as we enter our 60’s and beyond, maintining strength becomes the more critical factor so we do not get frail and weak.

Are you aware of the importance of protein for people over 60?

Want to see more articles like this?   Subscribe to this blog (just click on “Follow”) and get each new post delivered to your email or feed reader.  To follow me and get even more tips on how to live your life in 3-D, including improving your diet, choosing cutting edge nutritional products and effective weight loss strategies be sure to like me on Facebook here and here, sign up for my FREE weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report (and get a free gift!), follow me on Pinterest and Twitter!

Make gradual changes. Boost health, vitality and energy. Become your best YOU.

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