Weight Loss: A Simple (Delicious) Way to Decrease Hunger

They’re one of the oldest cultivated fruits. Central American farmers have been growing them since 8000 BC. I know the picture gave it away – yes, it’s avocados.

A very interesting study was done to determine how including avocado with lunch would influence blood sugar levels, insulin responses, satisfaction and further food intake.

The researchers found that study participants who added half an avocado to their lunch reported a significantly decreased desire to eat. Forty percent over a three hour period and 28% over a five hour period compared to their desire to eat after a standard lunch that didn’t include avocado.

Even more significantly, their satisfaction was long lasting. Three hours after eating they still experienced 26% increased satisfaction. And there was no increase in blood sugar levels beyond what was observed after eating the standard lunch.

Avocados are loaded with fiber, healthy fat and protein all of which help you feel satisfied and full longer. They are loaded with nutrients like vitamins C and E, beta carotene, selenium and zinc. You can get more detailed info on this amazing food in a previous No-Nonsense Nutrition Report. Just click this link.

So if you are trying to lose weight and struggling with hunger particularly in the afternoon, try including a half to a whole avocado with your lunch. Topping a salad with avocado slices helps you absorb more of the fat soluble nutrients so it’s a win-win. I like including them in my lunch smoothie which makes it creamier and very satisfying. What about mashing one up and making guacamole or even a creamy green tuna salad?

What’s your favorite way to eat avocado?

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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Posted in Digestive Health, Nutrition, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Nutrition: What’s So Great About Brussels Sprouts?

This cruciferous veggie is believed to have come from Flanders Kale which underwent a spontaneous mutation developing these small cabbage like structures along a long stalk. Thomas Jefferson brought this vegetable back to the US from England and France in 1812. 

Why it’s Healthy: 

Brussels sprouts are a good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, B vitamins and protein as well as antioxidants and other phytochemicals, which have been proven to fight chronic diseases, including cancer. 

One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts provides:

56 calories 

3.98 g protein 

11.08 g carbs 

0.78 g fat 

4.06 g fiber 

1209.00 IU vitamin A 

218.87 mcg vitamin K 

96.72 mg vitamin C 

93.60 mcg folate 

63.34 mg choline 

494.52 mg potassium 

87.36 mg phosphorus 

31.20 mg magnesium 

56.16 mg calcium

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Benefits & Specific Conditions: 

Cancer protective: All cruciferous veggies contain cancer protective glucosinolates, but Brussels sprouts are found to have the greatest quantity and now top the list of commonly eaten cruciferous vegetables. 

According to recent research, Brussels sprouts contain four specific glucosinolates and provide them in special combination. They kill more cancer cells than all other crucifers according to a 2009 study. 

Detoxification: Studies reveal enzyme systems in our cells required for detoxification of cancer-causing and other toxic substances can be activated by compounds made from the glucosinolates Brussels sprouts contain. 

Anti-inflammatory and Antioxidant: The root of all disease is inflammation so eating foods like these that are anti-inflammatory is very important for overall health and in avoiding chronic diseases, including heart problems, like heart attack and atherosclerosis. 

Cholesterol Lowering: Besides the cardiovascular benefits mentioned above, the fiber in this cruciferous vegetable bind together with some of the bile acids in the intestine in such a way that they simply stay inside the intestine and pass out of our body in a bowel movement rather than getting absorbed along with the fat they have emulsified. When this happens, our liver needs to replace the lost bile acids by drawing upon our existing supply of cholesterol, and, as a result, cholesterol level drops. Brussels sprouts provide us with this cholesterol-lowering benefit whether they are raw or cooked, however their cholesterol-lowering ability of raw improves significantly when they are steamed. 

Digestive health: The high fiber content helps with regularity and the sulforaphane content protects the stomach lining preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori which is believed to cause ulcers. 

Weight Loss: They’re a truly nutrient dense, low calorie food that will help you feel full because of the high fiber content. They are a great food to add to your weight loss arsenal. 

Strong bones: Being a great source of vitamin K makes them a great

food to keep bones strong.

Secrets and Tips:

This originally appeared in my weekly No-Nonsense Nutrition Report! To finish reading click this link and scroll to “Brussels Sprouts” and sign up to be the first to get this exclusive content delivered to your inbox every Thursday morning – Free!

How often do you eat Brussels Sprouts? If you never liked them, would you be willing to give them another try?

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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Posted in Cancer, Detoxification, Digestive Health, Heart Health, Nutrition | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Weight Loss: Are You Good or Bad Today?

thumbs_up_thumbs_downWe have to lose the belief that some foods are “good” and some are “bad.” You’re probably thinking I’m being hypocritical because I often write about the dangers of certain foods and ingredients in them. But hear what I am saying. In order to be able to lose weight in a truly healthy way and establish a healthy relationship with your body and with food, changing your perception is key. If you punish yourself and consider you have been “bad” if you ate something you consider “bad” – that’s a problem!

Food was provided to us by God to nourish and sustain our bodies and also for enjoyment and fellowship! He’s also given us the ability to make our own choices. So some days you may make very good, healthy choices that align with your goals and other days you may not. That doesn’t ruin everything and it doesn’t make you “bad” on that day. It doesn’t even make it a bad day!

In Today’s the Day I work with clients through the initial 7 weeks to help them understand how to make the best choices for them. Those are not exactly the same for everyone. We are all unique and some foods that work well for me will not for you. That’s ok. This is why I call Today’s the Day a blueprint – we personalize the plan to your specific needs.

That’s also why my focus is on the quality of food and taking baby steps. If you only focus on losing a certain number of pounds or reaching a specific weight you’re missing the most important aspect of the whole thing. We are meant to enjoy our meals. Our food is meant to nourish, strengthen and sustain us. Our focus is to be on wholeness and health and when that happens we find that reaching a healthy weight with energy and vitality becomes so much easier and more enjoyable.

Guilt over making a less than optimal choice is pointless. We all do that from time to time. One day isn’t going to totally derail all your other good choices. Just enjoy the birthday cake, or ice cream, or mac and cheese or pizza or whatever your “guilty pleasure.” It’s what you do next that counts!

What do you think about the concept of good and bad foods and how they impact who you are?

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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Health and Statistics: Understanding the Numbers Makes all the Difference

statisticsI wanted to share this because lately I’ve been seeing more stories about an increase in cases of flu and the media urging people to still go and get the flu shot as the answer to the problem.

I just read this article by Dr. Brownstein which very clearly explains the truth.

What I found very helpful and important to understand is the difference between relative risk and absolute risk reduction. We have to understand these numbers so that when we see reports in the media we can distinguish the truth of what they really mean.

Simply put relative risk as explained in Patient.info is:

Relative risk compares the risk in two different groups of people. For example, the groups could be smokers and non-smokers. Research  shows that smokers have a higher risk of developing heart disease compared to (relative to) non-smokers.

So, for example: If men have a 2 in 20 risk of developing a certain disease by the time they reach the age of 60 and research shows that a new treatment reduces the relative risk of getting this disease by 50%; the 50% is the relative risk reduction, and refers to the effect on the 2 not the 20. Fifty percent of 2 is 1. So this means that the relative risk is reduced from 2 in 20, to 1 in 20. If you didn’t understand that, you might think it reduced the risk from 20 to 10. If that isn’t clear – it can be very misleading.

Absolute risk is: Absolute risk of a disease is your risk of developing the disease over a period of time. We all have absolute risks of developing various diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc. The same absolute risk can be expressed in different ways. If you have a 1 in 10 risk of developing a certain disease in your life this can also be said to be a 10% risk, or a 0.1 risk.

Using the example from Dr. Brownstein’s post on the flu vaccine, the true reduction of the flu vaccine in preventing influenza-related medical visits across all age groups is around 1%.  A 50% relative risk reduction means that the absolute risk reduction is probably around 1%.  This means that the flu shot failed in 99% who took it. So,100 people must be injected to prevent one case of the flu, leaving the other 99 unprotected. A very different picture from the one the media portrayed.

Number Needed to Treat (NNT) is another term we should be familiar with.

This is the number of people who need to take the treatment for one person to benefit from the treatment. For example, the absolute risk of developing complications from a certain disease is 4 in 20. A medicine reduces the relative risk of getting these complications by 50%. This reduces the absolute risk from 4 in 20, to 2 in 20. In percentage terms, 4 in 20 is 20%, and, 2 in 20 is 10%. Therefore, the reduction in absolute risk in taking this medicine goes from 20% to 10% – a reduction of 10%, not 50%. The NNT would be 100 divided by 10. That is, 10 people would need to take the medicine for one to benefit.

So the questions at the end of the article on Patient.info would be ones I would ask if a doctor was prescribing any medication for me.

Now when you read about another miracle drug and how supposedly effective it is, you can assess the real numbers and understand whether the benefits are worth the risks and side effects or whether there could be a safer, better course of action.

Do you always just take any statistics for the efficacy of drugs on face value or question what they really mean?

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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Health: My Best Simple Tips For a Healthier Year

Last month I was interviewed by The Iron Jen McDonough and shared some really simple steps to make this your healthiest, best year ever. One of the basic principles of my coaching is to use what I call “baby steps” – small, gradual, incremental changes rather than large, sweeping ones.

Baby steps may not seem very effective but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Each small, consistently practiced change builds on the next and they create momentum! Getting one healthy habit in place very naturally leads to another.

For example, when you begin drinking more water you’ll see you have more energy. Then deciding to spend 5 or 10 minutes exercising can be the next, very natural step. Each one builds on the previous one and before you even realize it, you’ve made some very profound changes!

I invite you to watch the interview – it’s only 23 minutes and I promise you’ll find some encouragement and practical information.

What are some things you are doing to make this year healthier than last year?

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, Nutrition, Overall Health and Wholeness, Spiritual Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Healthy Mouth, Healthy Heart

happy-toothThe common thread between gum disease and chronic health conditions is inflammation — the body’s natural response to an infection or injury. The build-up of inflammatory substances in the blood seems to worsen heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Eliminating gum infection may reduce that harmful response throughout the body.

I am familiar with this from personal experience. I saw my mom have constant gum problems, which ended up with her losing all her teeth. My dad as well began losing teeth and it accelerated heart problems. I have struggled with gingivitis and gum problems since my early teens. I have finally found a regimen that has been working well for me.

This is National Heart Health month and while eating healthy food, quitting smoking, exercising and being aware of your emotional health all contribute to a healthy heart, don’t overlook dental health! There is a very strong connection between poor oral health and cardiovascular disease.

As I mentioned at the very beginning the connection is inflammation. While we’ve heard over and over that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease, experts now agree inflammation, not cholesterol, is the root cause of heart disease. Inflammation leads to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Our gums are full of blood vessels and our mouths are full of bacteria. When bacteria enters your blood stream, it can go to any part of your body, triggering inflammation. Studies have shown that the specific bacteria found in periodontal disease has been shown to play a role in strokes as well as heart disease. In fact, when there is no gum disease, there is much less of this bacteria found in the heart.

So carefully and properly brushing your teeth, flossing and oil pulling are a few of the things you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy and to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.

I’ve researched over the years to find the best products to keep my teeth and gums healthy and the Healthy Mouth Blend and Shine from OraWellness are among my daily must-haves.

Are you aware of the connection between oral health and cardiovascular health?

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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Health: Broken Heart, Happy Heart: My Top 5 Tips for a Happy Heart

broken-heartWe recently saw how powerfully the sadness of a broken heart can impact a person when Debbie Reynolds died one day after her beloved daughter, Carrie Fisher. Studies have shown that the loss of a loved one raises your own risk of sudden death, known as the “bereavement effect.

Broken heart syndrome (stress cardiomyopathy) is a real medical condition, triggered by acute, major stress or shock, such as the death of a loved one. In fact the emotional stress of losing of a loved one through divorce, death or any other circumstance can have as powerful of an impact as full-blown depression. Heartbreak can have a devastating impact on your emotional health and the loss of a vital connection can lead to the literal breakdown of the functions of the heart.

Symptoms of broken heart syndrome are very similar to those of a heart attack, including chest pain and shortness of breath. However, there’s no actual damage to the heart to trigger it. Extreme shock or stress may also trigger a hemorrhagic stroke by causing a dramatic rise or change in blood pressure.

According to a study in 2012, losing a significant person in your life raises your risk of having a heart attack the next day by 21 times, and in the following week by six times. The risk of heart attacks began to decline after about a month, as levels of stress hormones begin to decrease.

There are numerous studies linking heart and mental health.  Harvard researchers reviewed more than 200 studies and concluded that people who are more optimistic and satisfied with life have a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.  Pessimism was linked to a 19% higher risk of dying over a 30-year period in another study.

We can’t totally eliminate all the negative situations and happenings in life, but we do have some control over what we focus on. Focusing on intentionally creating positive experiences in your daily life has been found to lead to more satisfaction in general and greater health. Happiness researchers found we need 3 positive experiences for every one negative one in order to flourish emotionally.

So my top 5 tips to protect your emotional and physical health are:

Stay connected: don’t cut yourself off from friends and loved ones. Even consider getting a pet – love is love whether it is shared with human loved ones or animal loved ones!

Get other-centered: break out of the vicious cycle of self-absorption and intentionally show an interest in other people.

Laugh every day: find the humor in your every day events and don’t take yourself so seriously. Intentionally watch funny movies or videos and have a good laugh daily. Proverbs 17:22 says a merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones!

Nurture your spirit: we are spiritual beings. We may not all believe the same way, but we must not ignore our spirits. Read, listen to and watch uplifting things and nourish your spirit which will carry you through good times and bad. Scripture tells us:  The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear a crushed spirit? (Proverbs 18:14 NLT)

Cut yourself (and others) some slack: don’t be so hard on yourself. Learn to accept yourself, flaws and all, as well as others, just as you and they are now and see the best. Focus on what is good in yourself and others rather than all that is wrong.

Do you intentionally create positive experiences for yourself to offset the negativity in life?

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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