5 Guidelines for Eating that I know are true… for sure.

rules of clean eating

With every new piece of dieting advice comes a new contradiction, after reading countless diet books, wading through hundreds of studies and…watching Dr OZ every day (of course!) I have boiled all that food advice down into these 5 guidelines.

      1.  Most Importantly if you do nothing else…..EAT REAL FOOD!

Really try to stay away from anything in a box or processed, shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store. So choosing chicken breast over prefrozen nuggets, or a real potato over the boxed stovetop kind. Don’t eat packaged diet food, its not real food and it will just mess you up. I could go on and on but please just eat real food and that’s most of the battle, your body will begin to regulate itself once in understands the fuel your putting in.

  1. Buy organic/no spray, ESPECIALLY YOUR MEAT

You know I’m not completely sold on the whole Paleo lifestyle, although they have many good points and what I agree with the most is making sure your meat and vegetables (but more importantly meat because you can wash vegetables) is organic. I have never been inside of an industrialized farm- but I have watched many a documentaries and the stuff they give to livestock is nasty, and toxic. You don’t want that in your or your family’s body. Plus the way they treat animals is so sad.  I know its more expensive but my response to that would be to eat less meat but of higher quality.

  1. Eat Less Meat

This is not just the yogi in me, eating less meat is directly linked to a substantial reduction in heart disease. Heart disease is the biggest killer of human beings, taking more lives each year then even cancer.  Speaking of cancer those who followed a vegetarian diet were also less prone to certain cancers,  (by the British Journal of Cancer) they think either because the high fat content increases the hormones in our bodies that trigger cancerous cells to grow, or because of the hormones contained in the actual meat itself. There’s a lot more research but I’ll save it for another post, the take away here is add more vegies to your diet and reduce the meat. (And there are a tons of plant based sources)

  1. Avoid Processed Wheat

Now notice I didn’t say Glutton Free, although if you can handle that all the more power to you. Most studies have found that eliminating wheat greatly reduces inflammation in the body. Sadly Canada has some of the worst wheat in the world, its 99 percent genetically modified and in almost everything. Food manufactures love to use it as filler because its cheap and addictive. For many people going glutton free is said to clear rashes, improve digestion and aid in weight loss, but it takes a while for the main protein to clear your system about 3-4 months, so stick with it if you are experiencing any of those side effects. To be clear I still eat artisan/organic sprouted grain bread and wraps on occasion but my feeling is that since its not GMO or sprayed it would likely have a different effect then the traditional stuff on your body. The point is to be conscious about your consumption of wheat products and to eat sparingly.

  1. Consume Dairy in Moderation

Many people think beans are the most difficult food to digest, but turns out that’s not true. A recent study (as seen on Dr Oz) determined that the most difficult things for humans to digest is actually dairy products, mainly due to a protein called casein, its also been shown to increase inflammation in the body, and creates excess mucus.

Disclaimer!

I feel like it always has to be all or nothing, most diet plans say no meat, or no dairy or no carbs ect, but life doesn’t have to be black and white, I think most of us live in a “grey” area. The key is moderation,  follow the 80/20 rule- eat good most of the time but leave an allowance for the occasional indulgence.  Plus if you live a healthy lifestyle most of the time your body is able to heal itself when you don’t make the “right” choice… just remember point one (Eat Real Food!)

 

How to Keep your Gut Healthy

As you may or may not have heard the gut is now considered the second brain.

It primarily helps us to digest food but its also a major sensory organ for the entire body, I’m sure you’ve heard of a “gut feeling” or how when were stressed our stomach can feel like it’s in knots.  Taking care of your digestive system is a big part of our overall health, when we eat and act properly it can eliminate or reduce bloating, gas and pain (which also helps you look slimmer), absorb nutrients, dispose of waste more efficiently and most importantly it will make you feel better!

Here are some tips on how to keep your gut in check.

Drink your water warm.

Drinking water warm stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis (the muscle contraction that’s moves your food through the intestines) cold water acts as a shock to the system and slows down digestion.

 Don’t hold your stomach in.

This is a big one, especially for women. Last year a natural path told me about the importance of letting your stomach hang out, especially after you’ve eaten but more or less you should only be engaging your core muscles when exercising or doing an activity that requires you to do so (i.e. elimination) When your constantly pulling your muscles in your decreasing the amount of space available to your internal  organs, she cautions that this can majorly disrupt your digestion and causes chronic bloating and constipation.

 Take a probiotic

In my experience eating yogurt just doesn’t cut it, for optimal digestive health your probiotic should contain at least 50 billion cultures and be taken daily.

Have 3 meals a day, and fast for 12 hours at night.

Have a meal then allow your self the time to process it, digestion is a lot of work and if your eating non stop you never give your system the chance to cleanse itself.  This is also why many experts advise going (at least) 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.

Drink lots of water

Lack of water contributes to constipation, staying hydrates keeps your elimination soft and easy to pass… just another reasons to get in your 8 glasses a day.

Last 10 Pounds Diet Plan

I hate dieting, hate hate hate hate dieting. However sometimes I do it, usually before the summer or a vacation and I would rather temporally suffer for a couple weeks then return to a more moderate existence then drag on the calorie counting for months. The diet below will help you peel off the last couple pounds, it’s not fun but it is effective.

Cut out

Dairy

Red Meat

Glutton (anything with wheat) Rice, quinoa are ok!

Anything processed

Sugar, other then what’s in the protein shake

Limit

Alcohol

Limit your carbs to 1/2 cup of non-glutton grains (rice or quinoa) or palm sized amount of starchy veggies and the fruit in your shake.

Eat

Lots of non-starch veggies the more the better, cooked or raw doesn’t matter

Fish, chicken, tofu, beans, nuts

Breakfast- (Or as a replacement for any meal)

Protein Shake

Handful of frozen berries

½ banana

1 scoop of protein powder (not whey) there are so many other proteins rather then whey now a days, hemp, rice, pea, or blends.

1 cup non dairy milk (almond, soy, coconut)

Lunch

Big salad, with unlimited veggies and greens,

Add one serving of protein (chicken, tofu, fish, beans)

Add one serving of fats (1/2 avocado, 2tbsp nuts)

2 tbsp. non-creamy dressing,

Dinner

Unlimited veggies

Palm size of your carb so your rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes

Palm size of protein (chicken, fish, tofu)

Snack

For me that’s a glass of red wine at night, but its up to you, choose a 100-200 calorie snack that follows the rules above.

Tips

I believe proper digestion is a huge part of maintaining your health and weight, always give yourself at least 12 hours of fasting at night, so stop consuming at 8pm then have breakfast at 8am. (Studies have shown the longer you can fast at night the more efficient weight loss, if you can try to go for up to 16 hours, i.e. eat dinner at 6pm, then have breakfast at 10am the next morning.)

It’s been proven over and over again that glutton and dairy are hard for humans to digest and cause inflammation. If you live an overall healthy lifestyle, the body can heal itself when you do occasionally consume these foods in moderation but when your on a cleanse or trying to lose weight do yourself a favour and just cut them out.

Drink the detox water to help flush out your system.

Exercise most days!

The diet described is roughly 1200/1300 calories, if you exercise increase your serving sizes or add an extra 200 calorie snack.

 

The Benefits of an Anti Inflammatory Diet

anti infammatory diet, weight loss anti inflammation, anti-inflammatory dietA new way of anti-inflammatory eating went mainstream several years back after Gwyneth Paltrow endorsed a book called “Clean” by Dr. Jung.

Inflammation in the body is strongly linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis, weight gain amongst a slew of other health issues. Before the book was released Dr Jung’s program was considered a “Hollywood secret” and celebrities would pay thousands of dollars to be on a monitored plan, so it’s kind of cool that now the general public can benefit from this new research without the crazy price tag.

The concept is that you eliminate inflammatory food from your diet and replace them with ph. neutral or anti-inflammatory foods. His diet is mainly a cleanse (if you don’t want to make all his smoothies and recipes you can actually buy it already made but it’s fairly expensive)  after you adopt the principals and follow them for life.

If you are someone trying to conquer a sugar addiction, lose a few pounds or just looking to detox for your overall health I highly recommend this program. I’ve included a link to his free manual but outlined the rules below:

http://www.cleanprogram.com/media/files/clean-program-manual.pdf

Eliminate

(You might be surprised by some of the fruits and veggies eliminated but if you read the book he goes greater into the reasons why they are banned during the cleanse, its 3 weeks long)

Dairy

Gluten

Processed sugar

Soy

Coffee, soda, alcohol

Beef, pork

Corn

Tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes (nightshade vegetables)

Bananas, strawberries, oranges, and grapes

 Eat

Whole vegetables

Brown rice and non-gluten grains

Stevia

Beans, lentils

Wild fish, organic turkey and chicken

Avocado, coconut

Losing it After Baby

how to lose baby weight, postnatal fitness,Losing it After Baby

At this point in my life a lot of my friends are starting families, and after pregnancy for some women may be the first time they have ever had to lose a significant amount of weight.  I was definitely in this boat, I had lost a couple pounds here and there for vanity but never had to tackle anything more then 10 lbs. After my first pregnancy is when I became really interested in the science behind our health, and there is so much information out there! So I thought Id share some of the thoughts on the subject.

 Getting back into it

Definitely give your body at least a month before you begin a vigorous exercise regimen, until then walking is great but you need to give your body a chance to heal before you really get into it.

When you’re a new mom you know it’s not easy to have solo time without baby. Exercise videos are a great way to ease back in; you can break up your workout through out the day and are always on hand if your baby needs you.

With time you want to progressively make your workouts more difficult, continue to add weight while strength training, or hold your yoga poses longer. If you run or jog slowly add an incline, its better to jog up hill on an incline then run on flat ground.  Also adding intervals to your training routine will ensure you continue to see results, i.e. Run up hill for a minute, walk uphill for a minute,  with each workout make it a bit harder.  The important thing is that you continue to change it up, if your routine is the same you will plateau.

Be kind to yourself

Exercise is something you have to slowly get back into. I remember being so shocked the first time I went back to the gym, I had waited a few weeks to go and was 25 pounds heavier then my normal weight, I couldn’t believe how hard exercising felt compared to before getting pregnant.  I was so hard on myself for not being able to hit certain targets and felt embarrassed by how tired I was.  I really wish I had chilled out.

I spoke with my doctor about it at the time and he said that most women within a year after pregnancy return to their prior weight, and that’s without additional dieting and exercising, so if you do put a bit of effort in it will happen even faster.

Now that I think back its so irrelevant, women who get back into shape after a month are just annoying to everyone and you know they killed themselves to do it.  So unless you’re an actress or model and need to look good to make a living just be kind to yourself and trust in the fact that the weight will come off.