Nutrition: Water Quality and Tea

I am a tea lover and green tea has long been a favorite both just because I like it and for its numerous health benefits. But I learned something about a simple way to amplify those health benefits.

Rather than just filling the teapot with tap water, simply use bottled, filtered or purified water. According to this study, just this one small change more than doubles the amount of EGCG, the primary antioxidant in green tea, known to boost heart health and lower risk for certain types of cancer, among other benefits.

It was found that average tap water contains various minerals, like calcium, magnesium, and sodium, along with some possible toxins like copper or lead. These minerals may affect the antioxidant levels in your tea as well as blocking EGCG from being extracted from the tea leaves, which could lower the antioxidant levels of your tea.

The researchers found high levels of EGCG produced a slightly more bitter cup of green tea, which can easily be overcome, in my opinion, to get the increased benefits.

Would you choose taste over health benefits?

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

Posted in Cancer, Digestive Health, Heart Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Weight Loss: Cravings and Sleep Deprivation

If you have found yourself craving sweets and processed foods after a bad night’s sleep, this research explains why that seems to happen and almost be beyond your ability to control.  Your sense of smell is heightened after a bad night’s rest, so that sweet treat might smell extra tempting. Additionally, the connection between areas of the brain that dictate food choices appears to break down. With enough sleep, the part of your brain that perceives smells, the piriform cortex, is able to clearly dialogue with the insular cortex, which helps regulate food intake by keeping track of things like how much food is already in your stomach.

According to this study, that neural communication gets muddled with lack of sleep, which throws off our endocannabinoid system, which regulates most physiological processes. Researchers believe that an increase in a specific endocannabinoid, the 2-OG compound, causes cravings for smell-good treats when we’re sleep-deprived.

So what can you do when you get a less than restful night’s sleep? Be mindful about smells, and see if it helps you make healthier food choices. Perhaps try to avoid walking by your local bakery or detour around the pastry department of the supermarket. It’s also a good idea to provide yourself with healthy snacks that are also high in calories like nuts and seeds that might just smell extra good to your sleepy brain. There is an entire chapter on sleep and rest in Today is Still the Day because it is so important to successful weight loss and management.

Have you noticed that you seem to crave sweet treats more when you are sleep-deprived?

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 Brain health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Dental Health and Cavities: What’s Diet Got to do With It

I guess we all know eating lots of sugary treats, candy and soda causes tooth decay. That’s kind of a no-brainer. But this deeper dive into the specifics of diet and how it impacts dental health and cavities in particular was very fascinating to me.

Most of us believe that once you have tooth decay, that cavity cannot be reversed and the only solution  is to have part of your tooth drilled out and filled with a synthetic material. However, it’s been proven that there are ways to reverse cavities naturally. According to this study, cavities and tooth decay could potentially be reversed with diet.

Sixty-two children with cavities were divided into three different diet groups. Group 1 ate a standard diet plus oatmeal, which is rich in phytic acid. Group 2 consumed a normal diet and supplemented with vitamin D3. Group 3 ate a grain-free diet and supplemented with vitamin D3.

The results revealed that Group 1 who ate the diet high in grains and phytic acid had an increase in cavities. Group 2 showed improvements in the number of cavities. Group 3, who followed a grain-free diet with nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, meat, milk and took vitamin D3, saw the greatest improvements. Nearly all cavities in this group were healed.

According to the insights of Dr. Weston Price and several others, there are four main things that contribute to tooth decay:

Lack of minerals in the diet (calcium deficiency, magnesium deficiency and phosphorus deficiency)

Lack of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K, especially vitamin D3 deficiency)

Consuming too much phytic acid-rich food

Too much consumption of processed sugar

The bottom line for me was the destructive nature of phytic acid-rich foods, which many of us consume regularly, if not daily. If you are unfamiliar with the term, phytic acid or phytate, is a mineral blocker and enzyme inhibitor found in grains, nuts, seeds and beans that can cause serious health problems in our diets. The main reason phytic acid has become an issue today is because we have stopped ancient food preparation techniques, such as soaking, sprouting or fermentation, which kills off the phytic acid. I did an in-depth newsletter on the subject you can read here.

Too much phytic acid causes mineral deficiencies in two ways – by preventing you from absorbing minerals and also causing them to be leached from your bones and teeth – both of which can lead to osteoporosis as well as dental problems.

So do you have to completely give up your favorite morning oatmeal forever? No, not necessarily. I would suggest limiting it to 2 or 3 times a week and not daily. I would also recommend soaking any grain for 3 or 4 hours or overnight before cooking to deactivate most if not all of the phytates. Sprouting is another great method.

Would you be willing to make some changes if your diet is affecting your dental health? Or that of your children?

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

Posted in Children's Health, Digestive Health, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Lifestyle: The Healthier Alternative to Sitting

Ok so we’ve been told that sitting is more dangerous to our health than smoking, so we have adjusted our habits. Many people have incorporated standing desks into their daily work routine. We set our timers and get up at least every 30-45 minutes and intentionally move around for about 5 or 10 minutes. All these are good choices.

I read about a study done on the Hadza people who are Tanzanian hunter-gatherers. While their lifestyle practices in general couldn’t be more different from ours, there are some similarities. Even though their activity levels are triple what ours are, their sedentary time is about the same. They average 9 or 10 sedentary hours, yet they have a much lower rate of chronic disease. So what might be causing that difference?

The researchers found that kneeling or squatting instead of sitting seems to be the answer. When in a squatting or kneeling position more muscle is engaged. You are not fully resting and that small amount of muscle activity between higher activity level and “resting” positions is more powerful than realized before.

According to researcher David Raichlen, Ph.D.: “Even though there were long periods of inactivity, the Hadza are often resting in postures that require their muscles to maintain light levels of activity. Being a couch potato—or even sitting in an office chair—requires less muscle activity. Since light levels of muscle activity require fuel, which generally means burning fats, then squatting and kneeling postures may not be as harmful as sitting in chairs.”

So his recommendation is to try to spend more time in postures that at least require some low-level muscle activity rather than just melting into the couch. Kneeling and squatting may not be an option if you have knee problems, but there are other ways. I mentioned getting up every 30-45 minutes and intentionally stretching and moving and that is still a great option. You can also sit on an exercise ball or a balance disc which I recommend in Today is Still the Day. Those are simple ways to keep your muscles engaged even when sitting at the computer.

How do you mitigate the negative effects of sitting, which we all do daily?

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

Posted in Diabetes, Fitness, Heart Health, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Healthy Aging: Can You Spare 10 Minutes a Day

Incorporating movement and staying active daily is key to remaining independent and fit in later years. As we age, being able to do simple things like hurrying across a street or even just getting dressed and out the door in the morning can become more difficult. One of the best ways to maintain fitness, flexibility and independence is to incorporate something as simple as daily walking.

While you may think it would take at least an hour a day, this study actually proved that an hour of walking a week, which breaks down to about 10 minutes a day, can protect against disability as we age. It’s actually what I recommend in Today is Still the Day.

Regardless of your age right now, if you are already an active person, keep it up. If you are currently inactive, this very small amount of intentional movement daily is simple preventative medicine!

Is 10 minutes of walking daily doable for you to maintain independence as you age?

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

Posted in Brain health, Cancer, Diabetes, Fitness, Heart Health, Intentional Exertion/Exercise, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Weight Loss: 3 Steps to Simple Habit Change

I did a post at the beginning of last year where I shared an article that talked about why people who have small, attainable goals are MUCH more likely to succeed in attaining them. The writer of the article I shared called it “shrinking the change” and I happen to refer to it as taking baby steps. Either way we are saying the same thing. Break your goal or the healthy habit change into the smallest step and begin there.

Changing habits is not easy. Even breaking it down to the smallest baby step you can may still not be enough to create a new normal for you. I have found that besides making it a truly small baby step, it helps to piggyback it onto something you already do every day.

So as an example, if your goal is to increase how much water you drink each day, start off just having 8-16 oz. in the morning while you wait for your coffee to brew or your tea to steep. Once that becomes a “habit” then begin to have 8-16 oz. while you prepare lunch. It helps to have a sipper filled and ready to go too!

This way you are performing this new action (drinking water) at the same time daily and attaching it to something you already do (brewing coffee, making lunch) so the chances of cementing it as a daily habit are greater. Stick with each baby step for at least 2 or 3 weeks before adding the next. It takes longer to do it that way but it is more effective.

If you are like me and love keeping lists (actually I enjoy crossing things off once I complete them!) this may be helpful to you. If you keep a daily food log, note the new habit there. For instance if you list your meals just put the word water before you list breakfast. Then once you drink your water put a Y for yes (or an N for no if you didn’t). This way you can see your progress and keep track over a period of time. You also then know when it’s time to add the next baby step in.

Having someone hold you accountable is very helpful in cementing new behaviors. This is one of the most important tasks I have as a health coach. Once we choose the desired changes, having me support you and hold you accountable for being consistent can make all the difference. When you have to report to someone else, you tend to stay the course more than if you are just doing it on your own.

How do you create new habits in your routine?

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

Posted in Fitness, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Nutrition: Benefits of Being an Early Bird

I’ve written before about the importance of paying attention to when you eat as well as to what and how much you eat. Timing is more important than you may think and it is one reason for the many health benefits enjoyed by those who practice intermittent fasting. Contrary to previous recommendations, constant eating or grazing throughout the day and late into the night – even if you break the usual 3 meals down to 6 smaller ones isn’t necessarily a healthier way to go.

In this post today, however, I want to touch on the importance of eating earlier in the day and the health benefits associated with that. My kids always thought we were a weird family since we tended to eat dinner by 4 pm the latest (depending on their after school and sports activities when they were younger). The big joke was that only senior citizens eat such early dinners. Joke is on them since technically we are now senior citizens! Seriously though even now we eat dinner around 3 pm and as I practice a 16/8 intermittent fasting schedule most days I then do not eat again until I break my fast at 8 am with my bulletproof morning elixir.

Well research has borne out what I’ve always known – eating earlier in the day promotes better health as well as making weight management much easier, which I explain in more detail in Today is Still the Day. What are some of the benefits you ask?

Better fasting glucose and insulin levels, less insulin resistance and therefore lowered diabetes risk;

Lower blood pressure and lower cardiovascular disease risk.

Every 1% increase in calories consumed in the evening (after 6 pm) increased the likelihood of higher blood pressure and body mass index and poorer long-term control of blood sugar according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in November, 2019.

Calories are burned differently when they are consumed early in the day as opposed to later in the evening. Timing of meals during the normal circadian rhythm (day/night cycle) affects whether and how much the food you eat is used versus stored. Therefore, despite the number of calories eaten and calories burned being the same in both groups in the study, those who ate at night would theoretically gain more weight than those who ate an earlier meal, suggesting that a daily fast between the evening meal and breakfast can optimize weight management.

Do you eat the bulk of your calories earlier or later in the day? Would you be willing to change that?

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

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Gut Health: What’s Sunshine Got to Do With It

“Do not go outside without sunscreen and a big floppy hat to protect your face!” We have been hearing these instructions for years. Watch out for too much sun exposure. While you certainly don’t want to get burned, maybe we’ve gone a little too far in avoiding the sun. And while I’m on sun exposure, being aware of some of the potentially toxic ingredients in your sunscreen is very important. Many experts believe the toxic chemicals could be a huge factor in the development of skin cancers so read the labels carefully before you go coating yourself or your child in sunscreen.

You may be aware of all the benefits of vitamin D3 for immunity, bone health, insulin control, heart health and cancer prevention, and that most people are found to be profoundly deficient in this critical nutrient.  The biggest reason is our sun avoidance since sunlight is the best source of vitamin D3.

Well add to those benefits another: according to this study, increasing vitamin D3 levels resulted in increased diversity in good gut bacteria, also known as our microbiome. This is huge especially for those who suffer from inflammatory and gut-bowel diseases like IBS, conditions which have increased exponentially.

As the research shows, those with the biggest deficiencies to begin with showed the most improvement. You can increase your vitamin D3 levels through supplementation as well as also safe sun exposure. Most doctors now test vitamin D3 levels routinely so you should be able to find out where you stand. Just for your info levels 40 and above are considered good and optimally it is recommended to get levels to between 40 and 80. Levels of 20 or below are deficient.

For me the takeaway is that maintaining optimal levels of this crucial nutrient (it’s technically not a vitamin but a hormone) improves overall health including your digestive system. Use common sense and wisdom and don’t fear sensible sun exposure.

Do you know your vitamin D3 levels?

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

Posted in Brain health, Cancer, Diabetes, Digestive Health, Fitness, Heart Health, Overall Health and Wholeness, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Embracing Uncertainty: Perception, Truth and Faith

I received the following story in an email. It was said to be from a rabbi in Sydney, Australia, but I have no specifics as to who I may attribute these words to. I invite you to read it slowly and thoughtfully:

“It is not that we have lost our sense of certainty. We have lost our illusion of certainty. We never had it to begin with. This could be majorly unsettling, or amazingly liberating. This tiny virus of 125 nanometers has sent the entire world into chaos. All of our plans are up in the air, markets are going crazy, entire countries shutting down, and we have no clue what the future holds. But that is always the case. We never know what the future holds. We only think we do, and keep getting surprised when things don’t pan out the way we expected. Now the mask is off. We have to admit our vulnerability. What will happen next? We don’t know. Our experts don’t know. Our leaders don’t know. Only God knows. And that is the point. Only God knows. Close your eyes and feel the uncertainty, make peace with it, let yourself be taken by it. Embrace your cluelessness. Because in all the confusion there is one thing you know for sure. You are in God’s hands. Keep calm. Panic and fear are also contagious. Take every precaution as advised by health authorities. Wash your hands well. And every time you do, remember whose hands you are in.”

Change is always the only constant we can depend on in this world. We have been challenged in these last months in ways we never have in our lifetimes. As a Christian I get great peace and comfort from these words. There has been a great temptation to succumb to fear and panic. We hear conflicting reports. Who do we trust? Who can we believe? I can’t speak for you or anyone but myself. As for me, my trust is in God. I pray you have found that place of peace that passes understanding and comfort in your life.

What has given you a sense of peace in these chaotic times?

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 Overall Health and Wholeness, Soul Health, Spiritual Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Weight Loss: Focusing on the Wrong Thing

Weight loss is not as easy as eating less and exercising more. We all know that. It’s more complex and we are all unique metabolically, so what is effective for me may not work for you. That’s why it’s best to put some foundational principles in place like proper hydration, adequate, restful sleep, eating high quality foods that agree with your makeup, paying attention to when and how often you eat and maintaining a healthy microbiome. These health aspects, as well as others, are all things we address in Today is Still the Day.

I have said before that the ultimate goal should be overall health and wholeness, spirit, soul and body, not simply reaching a specific number on the scale. Getting to your healthiest weight is definitely a worthwhile goal, but it shouldn’t be the be-all-end-all. There is a very important reason for this.

When someone is overweight or obese it is easy to see that on the outside. That isn’t the whole story, however. You may be very slim, even athletic and still have some of the same health issues as someone who is overweight or obese.

The term used to describe someone who is outwardly thin but metabolically fat inside is “skinny-fat.” There are three critical reasons this could be true: poor diet, unhealthy habits and lack of sleep. Being overweight is definitely a risk factor for chronic diseases, including diabetes. However, according to recent research, those people who are normal weight and have Type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of mortality than people who are overweight or obese. This is referred to as the “obesity paradox.’ It is found to be a factor in cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure as well. Perhaps, surprisingly, as many as 25% of normal weight individuals have prediabetes.

Please don’t misunderstand. I am not saying if you are overweight you should just stay that way. What I want to point out is that there is more to health than simply the number on the scale. It is very important to consider when and what you eat, your stress level, how much sleep you get and other factors that contribute to true overall health and wholeness as well as a healthy weight.

What I am suggesting is that you seek a plan that addresses all aspects of health and wholeness and that you are able to integrate into your daily life long term. You do not want to look good on the outside and yet have serious issues happening on the inside!

Does this research surprise you? Are you focusing on the wrong thing?

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 Diabetes, Fitness, Overall Health and Wholeness, Soul Health, Spiritual Health, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments