Deanna

Diabetes and heart disease are on the rise worldwide. They’re serious chronic (long-term) conditions. They have a few other things in common as well. 
For one thing, they’re both considered “lifestyle” diseases. This means that they tend to occur in people with certain lifestyles (i.e. not-so-awesome nutrition and exercise habits, etc.).
They’re also both linked with excess body fat, as well as inflammation.
While there are several links and risk factors, today we’re going to talk specifically about inflammation. Then I’ll give you some tips how to improve your nutrition and lifestyle.
NOTE: None of these are a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any of these conditions, make sure you’re being monitored regularly by a licensed healthcare professional.
 
Inflammation
 
Inflammation has been getting a lot of bad press lately, but it’s not always a bad thing. As in most areas of health, it’s the balance that’s important.
 
Inflammation is a natural process that our body uses to protect against infections, irritants, and damage. Inflammation helps our bodies eliminate damaged cells and tissues and helps them to repair. It also helps to reduce the cause of the damage, for example, by fighting the infection.
 
The word inflammation comes from the Latin word “inflammo,” meaning “I set alight, I ignite.”
 
Inflammation is a natural process to protect and heal our bodies. However, it can become self-perpetuating and stick around way longer than necessary. This long-term (chronic) inflammation is often associated with several health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and excess body weight. 
 
Types of inflammation - Acute vs. chronic
 
When inflammation happens in a big way, for a short time, this is known as “acute” inflammation. Signs of acute inflammation include redness, heat, swelling, pain, and loss of function.
 
These short durations of strong inflammation can help the body to heal injuries and infections. 
 
On the other hand, when inflammation sticks around longer than necessary, it’s called “chronic” inflammation. Chronic inflammation can damage the body over time, without many signs or symptoms at all. It’s this type of inflammation linked to conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and excess body fat. It’s also linked with many other conditions of the body, brain, and even mental health concerns. 
 
What inflammation does
 
Inflammation stems from the immune system’s response, and also involves our blood vessels (arteries and veins) and other molecules.
 
One of these molecules is the infamous “free radical.” These highly reactive molecules (oxidants) help to fight infectious agents, and also help cells to communicate. But, when they are in overdrive, and they aren’t counteracted with many antioxidants, they can tip the balance and cause damage to healthy cells.
 
There are several other inflammatory molecules, one of which can be measured with a blood test. This is C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is considered one of the “markers” of inflammation. This “inflammatory marker,” when found in a blood test at high levels, indicate that there is inflammation in the body. 
 
High blood levels of inflammatory markers like CRP are associated with increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Some researchers believe that levels of inflammatory markers in the blood can actually predict whether someone is going to eventually develop diabetes or heart disease.
 
Chronic inflammation and diabetes
 
Diabetes is a complex condition of metabolism where our bodies don’t manage blood sugar levels very well. 
 
Blood sugar levels naturally go up and down throughout the day. Up after we eat; and down when we’re hungry. In a person with good blood sugar control, when blood sugar levels get high, insulin is released. This tells our cells to absorb sugar out of the blood to level it out. 
Blood sugar level is a tightly controlled system.
 
But when the control of the blood sugar levels isn’t as good, for example they stay too high for too long (i.e. because of insulin issues), this can lead to diabetes. And having diabetes can have many long-term serious health consequences like amputation, blindness, and kidney disease.
 
About 95% of diabetes is type 2 diabetes (T2DM), formerly known as “adult-onset” diabetes. This is because there are a whole host of nutrition and lifestyle habits, when done for years and decades, contribute to this diagnosis.
 
These nutrition and lifestyle habits can promote excess body fat and inflammation, and lead to an imbalance between insulin need and insulin production. 
 
Inflammation is thought to be a key factor when it comes to diabetes. It can negatively affect insulin-producing cells. It’s also one of the causes of insulin resistance. In fact, some researchers argue that virtually all of the factors that promote diabetes are linked with inflammation.
 
Chronic inflammation and heart disease
 
Heart disease is a major cause of death in countries such as Australia, the US, Canada, and the European Union.
 
The link between inflammation and heart disease was discovered back in 2006. The first stage of heart disease is called “atherosclerosis.” Complications of heart disease include things like heart attacks. Inflammation is a key issue linked with both atherosclerosis and heart attacks. 
 
Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) starts when there are too many “free radicals” inside the blood vessels. This can be from high blood sugar, high levels of oxidized fats in the blood (from too many free radicals), low levels of homocysteine (an anti-inflammatory molecule), etc.. These lead to damage of the inside surfaces of the blood vessels allowing buildup of plaque (including immune system cells) which increases chronic inflammation. This plaque narrows the inside of the blood vessels, and can lead to complications like heart attacks. And after a heart attack, inflammation increases to even higher levels. 
 
Research is underway specifically targeting inflammation to try to reduce heart and blood vessel injury, reduce the worsening of heart disease, and to promote healing. 
 
Inflammation - Excess body fat
 
Excess body fat is linked with both diabetes and heart disease. And in 2003, researchers found that it’s also linked with inflammation.
 
Body fat itself can promote activation of immune cells. The fat tissue can even produce its own inflammatory markers. This is particularly true for internal fat around the belly, liver, and heart. 
Excess body fat also increases the body’s need for insulin, and negatively affects insulin-producing cells. 
 
Excess body fat is also linked with the same nutrition and lifestyle factors as diabetes and heart disease. 

Losing weight (i.e. excess body fat) reduces inflammation in belly fat as well as the rest of the body, and can also reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.
 
Nutrition and lifestyle upgrades
 
There is a lot of evidence that improving nutrition and lifestyle can help many factors associated with chronic diseases, including reducing inflammation. 
 
In fact, according to the NIH:
 
“People with insulin resistance and prediabetes can decrease their risk for diabetes by eating a healthy diet and reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, increasing physical activity, not smoking, and taking medication.”
 
“The main treatment for atherosclerosis is lifestyle changes.”
 
Here are several ways you can upgrade your nutrition and lifestyle.
 
Anti-inflammatory diet
 
A nutritious diet promotes health, reduces risk of many chronic diseases, and can reduce inflammation. 
 
Some areas that are being researched now are anti-inflammatory diets and foods. 
 
One diet has a lot of science supporting its health promoting, emotional well-being improving, and life extending properties. This is the Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet includes a lot of vegetables, fruits, and legumes; some fish, whole grains, tree nuts, and dairy; and small amounts of olive oil, tea, cocoa, red wine, herbs, and spices. It also has low levels of red meat and salt, and a low glycemic index (it doesn’t raise blood sugar very high).
 
The Mediterranean diet can lower risk of diabetes and adverse effects of obesity, even without weight loss. One of the reasons why is thought to be because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
 
Foods common in the Mediterranean diet contain substances that are both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Substances like polyphenols, flavonoids, pigments, unsaturated fats (including omega-3s), and anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals like vitamin E and selenium. These foods may also help to improve insulin sensitivity, quality of blood lipids, and the gut microbiota. 
 
FUN FACT: Most people get the highest amount of dietary polyphenols from coffee and/or tea (but I don’t recommend a lot of cream and sugar).
 
Many anti-inflammatory effects of these foods have been demonstrated in a lab or in animals. Extra-virgin olive oil, tree nuts, and cocoa have been associated with anti-inflammatory effects, like reducing blood levels of CRP, in people.
 
Even when we look at individual components in a food, we should keep in mind that it’s the whole diet, with all foods and lifestyle components that help to promote health. One or two individual aspects don’t have the same effect as a holistic approach to improving overall nutrition and lifestyle.
 
Inflammation - Sugar and starch
 
Excess sugars and starches put stress on our blood sugar levels and increase our risk of chronic diseases. They also promote inflammation in the body.
 
Animals who eat sweets and white bread, and drink a lot of sugar-sweetened beverages have higher levels of inflammatory markers like CRP. Studies in people also show that diets low in sugar and starch have lower than average levels of CRP.
 
One possible reason is that more sugar and starch may increase production of inflammatory molecules and free radicals by giving immune cells more fuel and increase their activity.
 
You can upgrade your nutrition in this area by eating fewer sugars (especially “added” sugars) and starches (especially “refined” starches).
 
Inflammation - Dietary fat
 
Some lab and animal studies show that increased levels of saturated fats can increase production of inflammatory markers and free radicals. Meals with unsaturated fats seem to reduce the inflammatory response after the meal. 
 
Unsaturated fats like omega-3’s from fish seem to be particularly healthful. People who eat more fish tend to have lower levels of atherosclerosis and heart disease. 

Fish-based omega-3 unsaturated fats reduce inflammation in several ways. They reduce the source of inflammation, as well as increase the amount of anti-inflammatory molecules.
 
Tree nuts are another good source of unsaturated fats and anti-inflammatory polyphenols. While nuts do contain a fair amount of fat, many studies show that people who regularly eat nuts do not tend to have a higher BMI (body mass index) or more body fat. Even adding nuts to the diet doesn’t seem to promote weight gain compared to the amount of calories they contain. And that is if there even is any weight gain at all, because many studies show no weight gain after adding nuts to the diet. 
 
Why don’t fat-containing nuts promote weight gain? Several studies show an increase in the resting metabolic rate in people who eat nuts - they seem to burn more calories even when they’re not active. This may be because of the type of fat (unsaturated), protein, fibre and/or the polyphenol content in the nuts.
 
You can upgrade your dietary fats by eating more fish and nuts. Fish and nuts contain unsaturated fats that have anti-inflammatory effects. They can also improve insulin sensitivity and even improve the health of insulin-producing cells.
 
When it comes to fish oil supplements, many studies show reduction in risk factors for heart disease by improving the way our bodies metabolize fats and its ability to “thin” the blood. However, fish oil supplements have mixed reviews when it comes to reducing inflammation. They can be helpful for some, but I recommend eating the fish itself.
 
Inflammation - Dietary fibre
 
People who eat more fibre tend to have lower risks of diabetes and heart disease. There are a few ways this is thought to work, one is from reduced inflammation. This is because people who eat more fibre, fruits, and vegetables tend to have lower levels of CRP.
 
In fact, animal studies show that eating fibre reduces the levels of inflammatory markers and also reduces excess body fat.
 
This effect can be because fibre slows down absorption of food from the body, reducing blood sugar spikes. It can also be because of its interaction with the friendly microbes in our gut.
 
Foods that are high in fibre include whole grains, legumes (i.e. beans and lentils), cocoa, seeds (e.g. sesame), tree nuts (e.g. almonds), avocados, raspberries, and squash.
 
Inflammation - Exercise
 
Regular exercise helps with many chronic diseases, as well as helping to reduce inflammation.
 
Levels of inflammatory markers are lower in people who exercise regularly, than those who do not. Plus, the people who exercise at a higher intensity tend to have even lower levels of CRP.
 
In fact, adding regular moderate exercise to a nutritious anti-inflammatory diet has benefits beyond the dietary benefits, like even lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood (i.e. like CRP).
 
I encourage you to reduce the amount of time you are sedentary, and take active breaks.
 
Inflammation - Sleep
 
Both acute and chronic sleep deprivation cause an increase in inflammatory markers in the blood. 
 
In fact, sleep loss is a risk factor for insulin resistance and diabetes. When healthy volunteers have restricted sleep, this causes decreased insulin sensitivity. 
 
Upgrade your sleep by making it more of a priority.
 
Conclusion
 
Diabetes and heart disease are serious conditions. They have a few things in common, namely excess body fat and increased levels of inflammation. Inflammation can be healthy if its fighting an infection or healing a wound, but chronic inflammation is associated with many serious conditions.
 
There are a lot of nutrition and lifestyle issues that can contribute to chronic diseases. There are several ways they can do this; inflammation is just one of them.
 
The good news is that there are are several nutrition and lifestyle factors you can improve. These include eating less sugars and starches, eating more fish, nuts and dietary fibre, and getting regular exercise and quality sleep.
 
NOTE: None of these are a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any of these conditions, make sure you’re being monitored regularly by a licensed healthcare professional.
 
References:
 
Alkhatib, A., Tsang, C., Tiss, A., Bahorun, T., Arefanian, H., Barake, R., Khadir, A. & Tuomilehto, J. (2017). Functional Foods and Lifestyle Approaches for Diabetes Prevention and Management. Nutrients. 9(12). pii: E1310. doi: 10.3390/nu9121310.
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Bäck, M. (2017). Omega-3 fatty acids in atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. Future Science OA, 3(4), FSO236. http://doi.org/10.4155/fsoa-2017-0067
 
Bäck, M. & Hansson, G.K. (2015). Anti-inflammatory therapies for atherosclerosis. Nat Rev Cardiol. 12(4):199-211. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2015.5. Epub 2015 Feb 10.
LINK:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25666404
 
Burke, M.F., Burke, F.M. & Soffer, D.E. (2017). Review of Cardiometabolic Effects of Prescription Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 19(12):60. doi: 10.1007/s11883-017-0700-z.
LINK:  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11883-017-0700-z
 
Calder, P.C. (2015). Marine omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: Effects, mechanisms and clinical relevance. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1851(4):469-84. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2014.08.010.
 
Davison, K,M. & Temple, N.J. (2018). Cereal fiber, fruit fiber, and type 2 diabetes: Explaining the paradox. J Diabetes Complications. 32(2):240-245. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2017.11.002.
 
Drew, W., Wilson, D.V. & Sapey, E. (2017). Inflammation and neutrophil immunosenescence in health and disease: Targeted treatments to improve clinical outcomes in the elderly. Exp Gerontol. pii: S0531-5565(17)30841-0. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2017.12.020. 
 
Ellinger, S., & Stehle, P. (2016). Impact of Cocoa Consumption on Inflammation Processes—A Critical Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 8(6), 321. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu8060321
 
Engin, A.B., Tsatsakis, A.M., Tsoukalas, D. & Engin, A. (2017). Do flavanols-rich natural products relieve obesity-related insulin resistance? Food Chem Toxicol. pii: S0278-6915(17)30803-7. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2017.12.055.
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Frasca, D., Blomberg, B.B. & Paganelli, R. (2017). Aging, Obesity, and Inflammatory Age-Related Diseases. Front Immunol. 8:1745. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01745. eCollection 2017.
 
Gutiérrez-Grijalva, E.P., Picos-Salas, M.A., Leyva-López, N., Criollo-Mendoza, M.S., Vazquez-Olivo, G. & Heredia, J.B. (2017). Flavonoids and Phenolic Acids from Oregano: Occurrence, Biological Activity and Health Benefits. Plants (Basel). 7(1). pii: E2. doi: 10.3390/plants7010002.
LINK:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29278371
 
Haghighatdoost, F. & Nobakht, M.Gh.B.F. (2017). Effect of conjugated linoleic acid on blood inflammatory markers: a systematic review and meta-analysis on randomized controlled trials. Eur J Clin Nutr. doi: 10.1038/s41430-017-0048-z. 
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Iop, L., Dal Sasso, E., Schirone, L., Forte, M., Peruzzi, M., Cavarretta, E., … Frati, G. (2017). The Light and Shadow of Senescence and Inflammation in Cardiovascular Pathology and Regenerative Medicine. Mediators of Inflammation, 2017, 7953486. http://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7953486
 
Kim, Y., Keogh, J. B., & Clifton, P. M. (2017). Benefits of Nut Consumption on Insulin Resistance and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Multiple Potential Mechanisms of Actions. Nutrients, 9(11), 1271. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu9111271
 
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There may not be an obvious link between sleep deprivation and your weight, but more and more research is showing just how important sleep is for your mood, mental performance, overall health and wellness, and especially when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight.
 
Many studies show that people who have a short sleep duration simply weigh more. And, in fact, as the levels of chronic (long-term) sleep deprivation have increased over the past 50 years, so have the growing epidemics of being overweight or obese.

Countless top-of-the-line skincare products line the shelves at your favourite stores -- and most come with a price tag that will make your heart skip a beat.  Taking care of your skin is of utmost importance, especially with each passing year as your skin naturally ages.

We’ve talked about how to prioritize tasks that must get done, but what about making time for more of what you love? Do you ever feel like you’re giving too much of yourself?

Now that it’s spring, there’s no better time to do some spring cleaning for your personal life to get back more of what you put out there.

Here are ways to bring that into fruition!

1. Be honest with yourself

If you could create your perfect life, what would it be?  Write down the things that you would like to have more time for in your life, like reading, learning a hobby or spending time with people that you enjoy being around.

2. Reflect on the things you’re currently doing

It helps to make a list of what you currently spend your time on -- from working to caring for kids to running errands. Think of it as a synopsis of your weekly life. You’ll want to look at this compared to what you want to see more of in your week.

3. Decide what you can compromise on

You might not be able to change the fact that you have to go to work, but how you get there could be changed. Maybe the stress of driving is wearing you down. Instead of making yourself crazy, try taking the subway if you can and reading while on the train. Then you get more time to read, and you don’t have to deal with traffic -- a win-win.

4. Stop saying “but”

If you’re always saying you want to do something and adding “but” in there afterward, it’s time to change that way of thinking. Those three little letters are convincing you that you don’t deserve the things you want more of.

Let’s look at a common place where you add “but” in your life. You need to get groceries for your family. No one can deny that’s not important. “I want to take that new hot yoga class, but I have to go to the supermarket.” Well, not exactly correct!  Our marvelous online world allows you to order all of the things you need and either run by and have it brought out to your car or even better, delivered to your door.  Problem solved.

We even add this “but” when we need to make dinner. No, you don’t. You can prep those meals on your Sunday and voila! Your early evenings are free to pick up another pursuit. We’re so trained to feel guilty for indulging the things we want, but we need to do those things because we can’t be our best for everyone else.

What are 3 things you want to make more room for in your life?

Monday, 04 March 2019 20:31

Why You Should Try an Elimination Diet

That tiredness, bloating, skin rash or brain fog you've been experiencing could be the result of food intolerances.  These discomforts we tend to write off as normalcy can be directly related to what you're eating, and the way to know for sure if what you’re eating is causing you trouble is to try an elimination diet. 
 
To make it simple, an elimination diet consists of you avoiding certain foods for a few weeks.  After you get these foods out of your system, you'll begin reintroducing them to your diet one at a time. If you have kids, it’s much like starting them on solids and watching for any symptoms of sensitivities, but in reverse.
 
Food Sensitivity Symptoms
Intolerances aren’t always a major allergic reaction with a swollen tongue and puffy eyes.  In fact, the majority of food intolerances present themselves as common discomforts such as dry skin, itching, bloating, digestive upsets, headaches, fatigue, migraines, and achy joints and pains. You might only have one of these or a combination of them. 
 
Yes, it sounds like just about every other illness, but you might find that with an elimination diet, you’ll pinpoint the source of that mysterious bloating that isn’t during your period and actually be able to do something about it, finally!  You’ll feel more like yourself, and you’ll be aware of what foods cause inflammation for you. 
 
Of top importance is getting rid of any chronic inflammation you may be dealing with.  Over time, it can cause significant damage and lead to illness. Don’t panic if you only feel these symptoms once in a while, but if you feel like this daily, for example, fogginess when thinking, small aches, skin issues, or bloating, you should definitely try the elimination diet to see if you can get back to feeling like yourself. 
 
How to Do It
Want to get started? The elimination diet has 2 phases. The first one is about eliminating while the second one is about reintroduction. You should keep a rigorous journal to help you spot any changes, good or bad. 
 
- The Elimination Phase
During this phase, you must eliminate any foods you think are triggering symptoms for about 2 or 3 weeks. Most of these are things like dairy, citrus, corn, nuts, eggs, seafood, pork, gluten, wheat, and nightshade vegetables. Generally, you’ll notice your symptoms clear up which will mean you’re ready for the next phase. If nothing changes, you should schedule a checkup with your doctor as soon as possible. 
 
- The Reintroduction Phase
Next, you’ll slowly start bringing those eliminated foods back onto your plate. Only introduce one food group at a time over a period of 2 to 3 days. Be watching for those symptoms we mentioned. If anything you reintroduce sets off your symptoms, then you know you need to eliminate it.
 
One word of caution though: some of you may find several groups of reintroduced food to bring your symptoms back. Should that happen to you, schedule a checkup with your doctor or see a dietitian to help you get the right nutrition while avoiding the foods that trigger your symptoms, so you don’t become nutritionally deficient. 
 
All you need now is the willingness to devote the time.  You will be saving yourself a lifetime of discomfort, and the time you invest is absolutely worth it.
 
What do you do when your mood is off or you’re stressed to the max?

  Eat ice cream?  Binge watch Netflix?  Call your bestie?

  After reading this article, you may consider yogurt, a handful of walnuts, or maybe even some dark chocolate as your go-to mood-boosters and stress-busters.

  Today, we’ll unpack some of the exciting (and preliminary) new research about the link between your gut health and moods/stress. 
 
We’ll talk about your friendly resident gut microbes (mostly bacteria), probiotic foods and supplements, as well as foods to feed those gut microbes and probiotics (aka “prebiotics”). 

WHAT THE HECK ARE “GUT MICROBES?  ”

Oh, our friendly “gut microbes.” 

 They are the trillions of microbes that happily live in our gut. They help us by digesting foods, making vitamins, and even protecting us from the not-so-friendly microbes that may get in there.

  Believe it or not, these friendly microbes have mood-boosting and stress-busting functions too!


Saturday, 23 February 2019 21:04

Simple Methods to Stop Overeating

Whether it be emotionally charged, out of boredom, or pure mindlessness while at the table -- overeating is something we've all done at some point.  
 
Our culture tends to overeat in general with larger portions than ever, but you'd be surprised how much smaller of a portion you can eat and feel satisfied.  Somewhere along the way, we've been programmed to eat until we are full, instead of eating enough to satisfy our hunger and return to neutral.  
 
Whatever reason it may be to you, there are some simple tricks you can use on a daily basis to make sure you're more mindful of your consumption and keep things at a healthy level.  
 
Some of my favourite tricks are...
1. Drink more water
This may sound like a no-brainer, but the majority of people just do not drink adequate amounts of water. Dehydration accounts for countless ailments and symptoms we encounter on a regular basis, and you may not even be thinking your water intake is related. For example, hunger and cravings are often dispelled by drinking a tall glass of water. So whether it be getting a smart water bottle that’ll remind you to drink enough water, using a water intake app, or keeping your bottle by your side throughout the day — do whatever is necessary to stay properly hydrated. You’ll find your cravings dissipating, and you’ll be less likely to overeat. 
 
2. Don’t eat while distracted
Whether it’s in front of the TV or while playing with your phone on your lunch break, distracted eating can cause you to eat more than you were planning to eat. Even if you only have a limited portion in front of you, you won’t feel satisfied when you’re done, making you more likely to grab something unhealthy to “fill” you up the rest of the way. Be mindful when you eat, and you’ll find that satisfaction. 
 
3. Write it all down
Sometimes, we’re unaware that we’re overeating, which is even worse. Keep a food journal with you and jot down every little thing you eat, even if it seems minuscule or unimportant. It also helps to note how you’re feeling so you can correct behaviors once you spot a pattern.
 
4. Focus on your portions
Instead of putting all the food on the table for the whole family to grab, portion it out, at least for yourself. You should have a well-rounded meal with plant-based items taking up the majority of it, followed by a lean protein, and then a healthy carb. Choose a smaller plate too so you’ll trick yourself into thinking you’re eating a more significant portion. If you still feel hungry after eating your plateful, take more vegetables. 
 
5. Take it home
And finally, I can’t forget a tip about restaurants.  Even with healthy lifestyles, there will be times you go out to eat with friends or family. Don’t order some plain salad that you’re not excited about, a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be bland or boring. Make a healthy choice and ask your server to box up half the order from the start or see if someone is willing to split the portion with you. If not, you’ll have another perfect portion for tomorrow, which will make you look forward to lunch! Ordering a healthy appetizer and pairing it with a side salad is another great way not to overeat, but still, leave satisfied. 
 
These little things make a big difference in keeping you from overeating, and they’re so simple to do, they’re effortless. 
 
What's your trigger for overeating -- boredom? Zoned out in front of the TV?  Hit reply and let me know.
 
Did you know that I have online programs for Eating with Intention as well as in-person and online weight management programs to balance hormones, blood sugar and lose the weight for good.
 
Deanna Trask RHN
Holistic Nutritionist
Owen Sound
 
Weight Loss, Digestion, Food Sensitivities
Wednesday, 23 January 2019 20:23

5 Recommendations for a Healthy New Year

 
Does it seem like the years fly by faster each year?  Sometimes I can't believe how fast they go by, and this year is no exception.  We get wrapped up in our schedules, and before we know it, we're making holiday plans again with our loved ones.  
 
Same goes for New Year's Resolutions.  We proudly proclaim them at the beginning of each year with the best of intentions.  We really mean to accomplish them, but nearly all of them fall flat before Spring even hits.  
 
There are many reasons why this happens.  To stick with your resolutions, you’ve got to be realistic about your goals. Here are some tips for creating resolutions you’ll actually keep so that when New Year’s rolls around again, you can try making a new resolution instead of the same ones year after year.
 
1. Set up a reward
Whatever you’ve decided, be it weight loss or quitting smoking or even both, you’re more likely to make a positive change in your behavior if you have a reward waiting down the line. Make your goals manageable, also. Saying that you just want to lose weight has no direction which is why this goal always fizzles out. Make checkpoints along the way if you're going to see those results, and make those rewards unrelated to food. 
 
2. Pair up with your pals
Getting together with friends to better yourselves is an excellent way to build up your new good habits. Whether it’s taking a class together at the gym or learning a new craft like painting or pottery, teaming up with your friends will make it much more likely you won’t give up on your goals. 
 
3. Keep a written record
Writing down your resolutions makes it more front and centre in your mind. In fact, starting a journal around your resolutions is highly recommended. You can write what you’ve done each day to get to that goal. 
 
4. Dissect your resolutions into tangible goals
If you’re serious about achieving your resolutions, before the ball drops, write out your resolutions. Then, dissect them into what you’re going to do to get there. So, if your goal is to lose 50 pounds, write down what you’re going to do to get there on a daily basis. You can commit to 15 minutes of exercise per day to start and then increase it at a checkpoint. You can also commit to swapping out some unhealthy items every week. Doing it this way will help you make the changes you want to see. 
 
5. Share your resolutions
If you really want to succeed, tell your friends and family about your resolutions before New Year’s Eve. You will find much support and possibly teammates to take along for the journey.
 
Don’t let another year of unresolved resolutions fly by. Make 2019 your year, it’s entirely within your reach.  What are you excited about in the new year?  Hit reply and let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
 
Friday, 18 January 2019 19:15

Breaking Habits vs. Starting New Habits

 
Breaking habits can be even harder than starting new habits -- wouldn't you agree?  Especially when those habits are related to your health.  If you tend to gravitate toward unhealthy junk foods, it can be a considerable struggle to change your eating habits to incorporate healthier items.  
 
There are a few reasons why this is so difficult to do, and even better, there are several tricks you can implement to get over that hump.
 
Today we're speaking specifically to breaking the junk food habit and beginning to eat more whole foods...
 
Go gradually with your cutbacks 
Junk food is loaded with sugar, and your body gets hooked on it.  Start by cutting down on these junk foods that are currently in your diet. You’ll get less of a high from them, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your healthy eating goals. Start by taking the sugar out of your coffee, or by switching out your snacks each day with a healthy snack.  Whatever small step you choose, stick with it until you're comfortable with your new healthy habit -- then move on to your next healthy habit.  It works like a charm! 
 
Never buy foods with more than five ingredients
In the supermarket, you should mainly roam the fresh aisles where the produce and unprocessed foods are. However, there are still staples you’ll need from the inner aisles. Read those labels when you find items in those inner aisles, and try to find the healthiest option possible of what you're shopping for -- the fewer ingredients and the more you can pronounce those ingredients, the better.  
 
Add more colors and textures to your plate
A salad is impossible to eat if you just throw soggy lettuce in a bowl. Instead, make it a rainbow of colors and a playground of textures. Add tomatoes, colorful peppers, crunchy nuts, and even a bit of goat cheese to please your palate.
 
Break your bad habit cycles
If you always ventured to the vending machine at work in the mid-afternoon, break the association with that by starting a healthier habit. Take a walk that keeps you away from that vending machine, for example. It will only take a few weeks to replace that old bad habit with a good one, and you'll be feeling so good about your swapped habit that you'll be ready to tackle your next habit swap. 
 
Make healthy foods more accessible
You’re more likely to eat right when you’ve got a healthy snack ready to go. Bag up portions of mixed nuts, make your own trail mix, and keep cut up veggies with hummus around and you’ll always have a healthy go-to snack.
 
Don’t keep junk in the house
To make the switch complete, keeping those junky items out of your house is best. That way if you get a craving at midnight, you won’t be willing to run out and get it. You’ll train yourself to save sweets and treats for special occasions instead of for late night snacks.
 
Allow yourself to be disgusted
A great way to make the change to eating less processed foods is to really learn what’s in them. Go ahead, pull those packaged foods out and research the labels. Look up all the ingredients you can’t pronounce. They sound much less delicious now, don’t they?
 
Be patient and kind with yourself, too. Your inner voice needs your nurturing to make this change for the better. 
 
Need some gentle guidance?  Join my Online Program "Eating with Intention"
 
 
 
Friday, 11 January 2019 20:57

Eating with Intention 4 week program

One minute, you’re staring at a plate full of salad… the next, you’re hiding in the pantry scarfing down a box of donuts.

Do you feel like you know what you need to do to be healthy, but you can’t seem to follow through and you aren’t sure why?

I have stood exactly where you’re standing, and I 100% understand.

 "I have felt that disconnect, that mindless stuffing my face out of boredom, or not even paying attention to what I am eating while I am busy watching tv."

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could balance your relationship with food from bumpy to guilt-free, healthy for good, and enjoyable?

Eating with Intention is here to help you do just that. 

Our Sessions Include:

  • Learning about food freedom and your motivations behind wellness
  • Tapping in and listening to what your body is asking for
  • Evaluating your triggers and digging deeper
  • Slowing down and connecting

Throughout our sessions together, we will dig deep and jumpstart your healthy habits to set you on the path you deeply desire for yourself. We will implement small changes over time to help you reach your goals, which is far more beneficial than trying to do it all at once.

As an Holistic Nutritionist, I am your advocate.

Together, we create a personalized plan of action that is realistic and achievable for you. Your goals will come into reality with guidance to implement changes that work with your lifestyle. You have my full support and the accountability an Holistic Nutritionist provides will help lead you into success that is lasting.  

Are you finally ready to achieve the level of health that you’ve desired? Are you ready to ditch the road you’re on that’s leaving you unfulfilled, exhausted and feeling less than amazing?

I would love to invite you to have a conversation with me to discuss your goals. It would be my honor to meet you and talk about how we could work together to create the life you have always dreamed of!

Right now I am offering the first 20 people to sign up for $67.00 plus hst.  This program is done completely online from the comfort of your own home.

Ready to sign up?  Click this link to join now

Work with me

Deanna Trask RHN

Weight Loss Expert, Disordered Eating, Digestive Issues, Hormone Balance, Food Sensitivities

Owen Sound, Ontario