Holiday Feast Damage Control

healthy holidays, fitness, health

Use these tips to keep your weight in check during those big holiday dinners and throughout the holiday season.

1. Eat a healthy lunch and breakfast. Don’t try to save all your calories for dinner or else you’re more likely to binge, make sure your first 2 meals include lots of fibre, and protein, you’ll be more satiated and in control when its time for the big dinner.

2. Before dinner put out a tray of veggies with your other appetizers, people tend to take in less calories overall if they eat 1-2 servings of vegetables before there main meal.

3. If your cooking try to avoid using tons of butter in the sides, replace with low sodium broths or greek yogurt.

4. Now that you’ve taken the effort to make your veggies healthier, make sure they are the main focus on your plate!

5. Watch the booze! Choose dry wines or add berries to soda water with your liquor of choice over syrupy cocktails and beer.

6. Take the focus off of the crap… If your hosting a party make sure your holiday cookies are made with healthier ingredients, i.e. coconut oil instead of butter, oat flour over wheat or natural sugars like honey or 100% maple syrup over white processed sugar.

7. Work Out! The gyms die down in December because people think they can take a hiatus from their health and just pick back up in January, but instead of struggling to lose weight in the new year it’s way easier to moderately work out during the holidays to compensate for the extra turkey and gravy.

 

 

7 Painless Detox Hacks

1. Ditch Fake Sugars

If you haven’t already come off added sugars, now’s the time to start. Put down the chocolate bar and pick up a piece of fruit. Get your buzz from natural sugars and soon you won’t be craving that sweet pick-me-up so bad. When you’re on the hunt for a natural sugar kick it’s good to remember that a good kind of natural sugar is one that is minimally processed, not contaminated, and contains some nutrients and antioxidants.
Dates are a great source of natural sugar and they are rich in B6, vitamin A, potassium and calcium. Dates can taste amazing in bars or puddings. Other brilliant sources of natural sugars are honey, molasses and real maple syrup.

2. Drink LOTS of Water

Water is key. You know it, I know it, we all know it. It’s no secret how big a part water can play in the detoxing process. Did you know that when your body is dehydrated, it actually craves sweets? Drinking one large glass of water per hour when you’re weaning yourself off the sugar will help quash the cravings as well as keeping your skin looking fresh and glowing. If you’re wondering how you’re ever going to be able to drink that much of the clear stuff, try these handy tips.
Instead of using artificial sweeteners, take some of your favourite fruit, slice it up and pop it into a water bottle. We love the taste of watermelon chunks and mint in our water for a refreshing lift in the afternoon.

3. Go Green.

“Adding greens to your diet is one of the best ways to keep energy levels up and eliminate those sweet cravings,” Ficek says. Green veggies like spinach, kale, and broccoli are great sources of iron and vitamin B-6, both of which can keep you from “needing” a sugar boost. “Try having a green smoothie for breakfast, a big salad for lunch, and a green veggie stir-fry for dinner. These meals will make you feel so good; you won’t dare go back to those sweet treats,” she says.

4. Eat foods rich in potassium citrate.

They can help alkalize the body. Opt for prunes, avocados, raisins, peaches, strawberries, spinach, apples or fresh mushrooms.

 5. Add garlic to your meals as often as possible.

It’s great for you. Garlic is an antioxidant that’s been shown to help the immune system.

6. Stimulate your lymphatic system with dry skin brushing twice a day.

Brush your naked body with a natural bristle brush starting with your feet and working towards your heart. Then take a shower alternating between hot and cold water.

7. Treat yourself at the spa. 

Get a sports massage or enjoy the sauna every now and then. These spa treatments really do keep you healthy!

Source: Herfamily.ie fitnessmagazine MBG

Eat like a Pegan- Combine Vegan & Paleo for the best of both worlds.

We now know that food is medicine, perhaps the most powerful drug on the planet with the power to cause or cure most disease.  So the question is “What’s the best diet plan?” Well it’s a grey area… we all have biochemical individuality meaning whats good for one may be a detriment to others, and the fact that humans can thrive on an array of different types of diet. Ultimately you have to be your own advocate and find whats best for your body and lifestyle.

Dr. Mark Hyman recently created a new style of eating called Pegan (I had to laugh because someone finally coined a “name” for my diet!) he advocates pulling the best  advice of both diets to create an eating plan more sustainable and less restrictive- but ultimately healthy for the masses. The funny thing is that Veganism and Paleo have more in common then they realize.

Dietatary Guidelines that all the experts can agree on

  • Low glycemic load – choose foods low in sugar, flour and refined carbohydrates.
  • Eat lots of fruits and veggies. Choose deep colours and lots of variety. This provides a high phytonutrient content and protects against most diseases.
  • Avoid pesticides, antibiotics and hormones and probably no or low GMO foods.
  • No chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, MSG, artificial sweeteners and other “Franken Chemicals.”
  • Eat good quality fats – Mainly Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Choose good quality fats from olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocados.
  • Get adequate protein for appetite control and muscle synthesis.
  • Ideally consume organic, local and fresh foods.
  • If animal products are consumed they should be sustainably raised or grass fed.
  • If you are eating fish you should choose low mercury and low toxin containing fish such as sardines, herring and anchovies or other small fish and avoid tuna, swordfish and Chilean sea bass because of the high mercury load.

How to Eat like a Pegan

  1. Focus on the glycemic load of your diet. Be aware on the sugar content in your meals and focus on more protein and fats.  Nuts, seeds, coconut, avocados, sardines, olive oil.
  2. Eat the right fats. Stay away from most vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, corn, and especially soybean oil! Focus instead on omega 3 fats, nuts, coconut, avocados and yes, even saturated fat from grass fed or sustainably raised animals.
  3. Eat mostly plants – lots of low glycemic vegetables and fruits. This should be 75 percent of your diet and your plate. I usually make 2 to 3 vegetable dishes per meal.
  4. Focus on nuts and seeds. They are full of protein, minerals, and good fats and they lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
  5. Avoid dairy – it is for growing calves into cows, not for humans.
  6. Avoid gluten – Most is from Franken Wheat – so look for heirloom wheat (Einkorn); if you are not gluten sensitive, then consider it an occasional treat.
  7. Eat gluten-free whole grains sparingly– they still raise blood sugar and can trigger autoimmunity.
  8. Eat beans sparingly – lentils are best. Stay away from big starchy beans.
  9. Eat meat or animal products as a condiment, not a main course. Vegetables should take center stage and meat should be a side dish.
  10. Think of sugar as an occasional treat – in all its various forms (i.e., use occasionally and sparingly).

Source Dr. Mark Hyman

 

Eat Fat to Lose Fat

The Results Are In…

If you’re trying to lose weight on a low-fat diet and it’s not working, here’s why.

Refined carbohydrates—found in processed foods like white breads, white rice, and pastas—tend to be loaded with sugar, which messes with our metabolisms, making it harder to burn calories.

Eating nearly half your calories via healthy fats, on the other hand—think salmon, avocados, nuts, and vegetable oils—has been shown in a recent study to result in twice as much weight loss as seen in those assigned to low-fat diets.  What’s more, the researchers say there was no increase in total or bad cholesterol between the groups, which has been feared would be the case in higher-fat diets, reports Reuters.

Source: Newser.com

Why Eating Fat Burns More Fat

The science behind this is the impact fat has on the hormone called insulin. Released when you eat, insulin’s job is to shuttle glucose – the sugar our body normally uses for energy – into cells where it can be used as fuel.

How much insulin you produce depends on which foods you consume.

Sugar and carbohydrates (which your body converts quickly into glucose) produce the highest levels of the hormone.

Protein, which takes a bit more effort to turn into glucose, creates a smaller rise.

Dietary fat, however, requires several complicated steps to convert to glucose and therefore doesn’t trigger any direct rise in insulin at all.

Swap to a diet that consists of a lot of high-fat foods and very few carbohydrates and you can create a situation where insulin is low and you effectively remove your body’s normal source of fuel.

Source: Womans World

This doesn’t mean you should run to the fridge and snack on a brick of butter: Choosing plant based polyunsaturated fats is always the healthiest choice:

Eat Lots of Healthy Fats

  • Olive oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • Nut butters
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)

Limit Animal Fat & Dairy

Animal meats and organs can contain plenty of vitamins and minerals but how it’s sourced is really important. Buying organic meats ensures you won’t be consuming harmful steroids, antibiotics and that the animals are fed corn and GMO free diets, grass fed beef for example is much higher in nutrients then conventionally raised corn fed cows.

What does it mean to eat clean?

The Guide to Clean Eating

1- What qualifies as processed food?

Additives- salt, sugar, fat, chemicals or preservatives basically anything that enhances the flavour or extends the expiry date.

Processes that changes a foods natural form- for example removing the bran from rice, wheat or instant oats.

Foods created in a lab, I would hope that’s a given… so we’re talking candy, gum ect.

2- Is all processed food BAD?

Not always, while avoiding processed foods is a good rule of thumb there are always some exceptions. Freeze dried anti-oxidants or greens for example are a great way to get vitamins and essential nutrients, also there are some reputable (usually small scale) food companies that make quality boxed foods, like whole grain pastas, sauces and snacks. Always check your labels because it can be tough to navigate through some of the marketing of “natural” foods.

3- Say NO to GMO’s

A genetically modified organism(GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.

Foods with genetically modified ingredients have been linked to cancer and infertility.  Heavily modified food have also been shown to overstimulate the production of dopamine (the bodies pleasure neurotransmitter) causing a vicious cycle of junk food cravings.

4- Staples of a Clean Diet

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Nuts and legumes

Farm fresh, free range eggs

Unprocessed, wild, free range and organic meats

Whole grains, like quinoa, oats, rice ect.

GMO free Polyunsaturated Oils, avocado, grapeseed, olive, sunflower ect.

5- Shopping Tips

Try to buy local as much as possible, ie local farms or farmers markets

If your shopping in the grocery store avoid the inner aisles and stay along the perimeter

Talk to the people who work in the stores! You have every right to know where your veggies came from and what the animals were fed.

Read the labels! Natural food is huge right now and food companies are trying to capitalizing on that but most of the big guys are driven by profits not your health, and they have a lot of money to spend on marketing. The ingredients listed near the top of the label are what the product contains the most of and it descends from there. So a common one to look out for are juices, if you’re buying “pomegranate juice” you’ll notice apple and grape juice are usually at the top of the list with the last ingredient being pomegranate, this is because apple and grape juice are CHEAP and SWEET. I have found around 80% of foods marketed as health foods use this trick.