Right in the GUT!

Our body especially our gut is filled with good and bad bacteria.  Good bacteria keeps the bad bacteria in check.  Maintaining healthy gut bacteria affects many aspects of wellness.  Research is now showing that probiotics contribute to many parts of our wellness.  Probiotics can help prevent constipation and help to stop diarrhea.  Probiotics can help our immune system, boost metabolism, help with weight loss, and improve overall wellbeing.  Probiotics can help more complex diseases that affect the gastrointestinal health like Crohn’s disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

A 2005 study by Harvard Medicine shows that probiotics help to alleviate allergy symptoms including; seasonal allergies, asthma, and eczema.

In 2006 a study by Stanford University showed that individuals of healthy weight have a good amount of healthy bacteria compared to overweight individuals who have less good bacteria and more bad bacteria.

It is super easy to include probiotics and there is nothing to lose and everything to gain by including some of these items in your diet.

For Probiotics include;

Plain unflavored yogurt

Kefir

Miso

Pickles

Sauerkraut

Kimchi

Kombucha

I invite you to try adding a probiotic-rich food daily and see how you feel.  Let me know if you do.  I am rooting for you and wishing you the best.

Get it on Popeye Style!

I have written about greens many times before but they are so important that I will write about them again.  Today my goal is to inspire you to eat more greens and to give you more tangible ways of including them in your daily diet.  Greens are amazing they have Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, Minerals, Antioxidants, Fiber, Calcium, Iron, Enzymes, and many others!

Not many other foods can make these kinds of claims.  There are so many great ways to add greens to your daily menu.

Starting with breakfast.  I encourage you to try lightly steamed greens with garlic, sea salt, and olive oil with your favorite breakfast foods.

Green smoothies are my personal favorite way of consuming 3 cups of greens to start my day! Please see my green smoothies recipes on the home page.  Green smoothies can also be consumed for snacks.

For lunch try steamed greens with legumes.

For any meal eat SALAD!! I like to have a lovely salad filled with greens for both lunch and dinner.  Instead of using bread or tortillas consider using a sturdy green like collard greens or kale to wrap your veggies, legumes, tofu, or animal protein.

Greens have a bitter taste to them but the more you eat the more you will find your body craves them.  Our body needs all tastes to operate optimally including bitter tastes.  Greens become more palatable the more you eat them.

One thing I love about greens is that they are so nutrient dense that when you consume them you will eat less because your body will be nourished.  Many times our body craves food because it is unsatiated with processed foods that lack nutrients.   The more greens you eat the more energy, life, and vitality you will feel.  If you do not believe me just try it for a week.  Make it a goal to include greens in each of your meals and your snacks.  I wish you nothing but the best in your green eating venture!!

I am rooting for you! Let me know about your adventures with greens.  Karla

 

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Squash for Fall

Fall is wonderful for many reasons but especially for the abundance of squash.  Squash is an incredible superfood!

One of my favorites is acorn squash.  It is beautiful to look at and easy to cook.  Its health benefits are many.  It is especially good for our immune system as it is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C.  It is also great for our eye health with its high content of vitamin A.  Acorn squash is incredible for our digestive health due to its high content of fiber.  Try it for yourself and feel how good it is to include this incredible food in your diet.

The easiest way to cook is so simple! and delicious!

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.  Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Rub the inside of the squash with either coconut oil or butter.  Bake for 45 minutes.  You can either enjoy as is or add a garlic and sea salt for a savory dish or if you want something a little sweet add a sprinkle of brown sugar.  Either way it is incredible!  Enjoy!

 

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Eating out, What to DO?

People are always asking me, “What should I do when I eat out if I want to be healthy?” This can be complicated but this is what I do.

  1. Always look at the menu prior.  Nowadays with our smartphones, this is easy to do.  Know what you will order ahead of time and when you get to the restaurant laser focus do not get swayed by looking at the menu.
  2. Try to find the best option that sounds good and mostly has real food, ideally veggies and lean protein.  Get creative, look at appetizers and sides.
  3. If possible never show up at a restaurant when you are starving this can be disastrous.  Usually, it results in eating more than needed, eating foods which might not be the healthiest, and getting so full you feel bloated which puts a damper on the rest of the day.
  4. Be mindful!  I would recommend focusing on conversation, eating & chewing thoroughly, refrain from going on your smartphone, and notice when you get full and put the remainder of your food in a to-go box.
  5. Enjoy the experience.  Be present and mindful.

Let me know if this is helpful.  I am rooting for you!

Apple Cider Vinegar

The more I use apple cider vinegar the more I am convinced it is a magic elixir.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been known for healthy glowing skin, immunity boosting, gastrointestinal health, helps with allergies, regulates blood sugars, helps with weight loss, and many other benefits.  Like anything else I recommend you try it for yourself so you can decide if it is helpful to you.

The two ways I drink ACV.  In the morning I start the day with a large 24-ounce glass of water and I add 1-2 tablespoons of ACV.  You may want to start with less since you may need to get used to the taste.  I find this helps hydrate me and get my digestive system going.  I feel very energized by doing this and it sets the tone for the rest of my day.

I also have ACV in the middle of my day before lunch.  I drink another 24 ounces of water with a large tablespoon of chia, a pinch of stevia, and another 1-2 tablespoons of ACV.  I add the chia so I can get add fiber and omega 3’s to my diet.  I have found that by doing this I tend to eat smaller meals, have more energy, and feel at the top of my game.

I encourage you to try adding ACV into your daily routine for a week.  See how you feel.  Remember you are the expert of you!  I am rooting for you.  Let me know if this was helpful.  Karla

You Will Lose if YOU DO THIS

Did you know there is one healthy habit that will most definitely every time contribute to your goal of weight loss?  It is so simple it is hard.  ARE YOU READY?

Eat mindfully!

What the heck does that mean?  It means that when you eat, you just eat, nothing else.   You focus on your food.  You chew it.  You taste it and smell it.  You eat mindfully and pay attention to when you feel full.  When you feel full, you stop eating even if it means you have to put some food away in a Tupperware for a later meal. Pay attention afterward.  Do you feel good?  Did the food you ate make you feel energized or sluggish? Make mental notes which foods make you feel good and which ones do not.

This one habit will help you tremendously in your weight loss journey.  The icing on the cake is you will feel better.  You will be more likely to eat just what your body needs, and with time you will gravitate to the foods that make you feel better.  Please remember this is a journey and it takes time.  If you decide to commit to mindful eating I promise you will feel better and it will naturally help you to get to the weight that is healthiest for you.

I am rooting for you and wishing you well! Let me know if this was helpful.

 

START HERE 4 Weightloss Success

So much energy is often spent contemplating the latest diet craze.  I hear about them all the time; Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Whole 30, Weight Watchers, Carb counting, etc.  While I like to learn about each one so I can help the people I serve, I am cautious.  I am very wary of diet crazes.  I like them as long as the person who is partaking is taking the time to be curious and deciding if the diet is helpful to them. Before embarking on a new diet craze I want to suggest you do the following it will be worth its weight in gold if you do!:

  1. Take Stock.  Take the time to figure out your situation.  What are your health goals?  Where do you want to be? Is it realistic and attainable?  What kind of changes do you need to make in order to get where you want to go?
  2. Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses.  What has worked for you in the past? What do you already know?  What are your weaknesses?  What knowledge do you lack?
  3. Resources. What resources do you have access to (healthcare, library, knowledgeable family or friends, books, trainer, gym, nutritionist, etc)?
  4. Plan. What is your plan moving forward?  Do not overwhelm yourself start with a small action item and follow it with something else once you complete.
  5. Execute.  Move forward with your plan.  Trust that one hundred small changes equal one big change.

You are the expert on you.  I will tell you in all of my experience those who succeed with weight loss and health always take themselves into account.  They include their knowledge of themselves and create a plan for what they do not know.  They connect their personal knowledge with resources, the plan, and they do!

I am not dismissing all of the fads I just am hoping to inspire you to start here with these 5 simple steps to set yourself up for success.  I am rooting for you and wishing you well! Let me know if you have any questions and if this was helpful.

Healthy Eating is a Full Time Gig

A commitment to healthy eating takes time and repetition plus it takes practice.  I have been committed to eating healthy for quite some time and every day I get better but I still discover triggers that catapult me into making choices that do not contribute to my health journey.

Recently I have been traveling for work.  Many of my trips are day trips.  I have noticed that even though I pack my lunch and snacks I like to stop at gas stations and fast food restaurants.  So yesterday I got curious about these habits.

Why, if I like the foods I packed and I am prepared do I feel the need to buy myself food at a gas station or fast food restaurant?

Well after thinking about it I discovered that in my past this has been the fun part of traveling that I get to eat out and buy beef jerky or French fries.  I also discovered that when I am traveling I view it as an adventure and I do not want to eat my normal day to day food.

So yesterday in the parking lot of Whataburger I prayed for love, strength, and will.  I ate my packed lunch and I made a promise to myself.  From this moment forward I will plan ahead and when I am scheduled to travel I will buy foods that make me feel good but that differ from what I normally eat so that I can feed my adventurous spirit, literally with fun foods that are good for me.

I invite you to get curious.  If you want to eat healthily, what are your triggers?  Find a way to fulfill your needs in a healthy way.  Get creative!

I am rooting for you!

Hummus

Having a salad at most of your meals is the easiest and best way to take in fiber, Vitamins A-D, minerals, antioxidants, and many other nutrients.  Add leafy greens with a variety of veggies.

Since we eat so many salads at our house it is imperative to find new twists and tasty ways to enjoy so my family does not get bored.  One of the best ways is to add a side of hummus to our salad yummy!!! I am known for my hummus so I want to share with you my latest recipe.  I hope you will try it and I invite you to enjoy it with a fresh and colorful salad.

Please note that I am the type of chef that puts a little of this and sprinkles a little of that so I will do my best to recreate accurate amounts for you in a recipe, but you may have to bring your creative side to the table

 

1 Lemon Juiced

1 tsp cumin

1 tbsp Braggs or low sodium soy sauce

2-3 garlic cloves crushed or minced

¼ cup olive oil

2 cups of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) cooked

You may need to add ¼ cup of water to smooth out the consistency (sometimes I just add another juice from a lemon and/or a splash of more olive oil instead) it is up to you.

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!! Let me know if you try it and what you think.  Wishing you well.

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Chia Magic for your Heart, Mind, Bones, and Well-being

See the source image

Chia seeds have become a staple in my house for many reasons, but before I talk about that I want to get one thing out of the way.  They are grey and black in color.  They expand when you add water and turn into a gelatinous type substance.  It takes some getting used to.

Chia seeds come from a plant in the mint family.  They are indigenous to Mexico and Guatemala.  It is thought this plant was revered by the Aztecs.

When people consistently consume Chia seeds they credit these little guys with improving their digestion, lowering blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, increasing energy, and improving their overall health.

Why are Chia seeds so great?  Chia seeds are full of calcium, manganese, phosphorous, fiber, and an excellent source of quality Omega 3’s.

Chia seeds are super easy to consume.  Just and water and go!  My favorite way is to add it to my water bottle in the morning with some lemon juice.  I like to let it stand for at least 15 minutes to give the seeds time to expand and absorb water then I drink it.  I find it to be filling so I drink my drink an hour or two after breakfast and that tides me over until lunch.  I highly recommend Chia seeds and luckily they are available in most stores.  Thank goodness! I’m praying for your health!