Deanna

Wednesday, 20 May 2015 19:04

How Stress Can Affect Your Weight

A More Amazing You:  Health Strategy- Reduce Stress 

I realize this is not always an easy thing to do.  Most of us are juggling way too much and going through the day at warp speed, trying to get more and more accomplished.  By having a high stress level, not only is it harmful to your health, it’s harmful to your waistline as well. When you are constantly under stress, hormone levels, like cortisol and insulin are elevated.  The elevation of these 2 hormones can sabotage your weight loss efforts and actually cause weight gain.  

‘Feeling stressed can create a wide variety of physiological changes, such as impairing digestion, excretion of valuable nutrients, decreasing beneficial gut flora populations, decreasing your metabolism, and raising triglycerides, cholesterol, insulin, and cortisol levels.’  – Mercola.com

So, while you may think you can “handle it” as far as your stress level goes, we aren’t meant to be under constant stress and it takes its toll. If you are doing everything right as far as diet and exercise, but you’re under stress every day, you’re not going to see or feel the results you want. 

What are some ways you can reduce your stress level? 

Is there something you can start with this week? 

Monday, 23 November 2015 18:54

Echinacea and Vitamin C- Do they work?

This is the time of year when everyone is rushing out to get the Flu shot. Doctor's offices are filled with people who are scared of getting sick. Getting a needle is much easier than changing your diet and making healthier choices…right?

Your immune system works hard for your 24/7, 365 days per year. It doesn’t get a break or a chance to take a vacation. Are you doing what you can to support your hard working immune system?

Ever wondered how your immune system actually works and what specific foods or nutrients can strengthen it. I can tell you one thing for sure…all the Vitamin C and Echinacea in the world won’t do it!

Grab a cup of Green Tea and read the story of your good ol’ immune system.

The immune centres of your body are located in the tonsils, thymus, spleen, and bone marrow. These are like the army command stations housing the first line of defense soldiers ready to fight against the enemy invaders (bacteria).

From these command centres the soldiers (immune cells) cruise around your body, looking for the enemy invaders. The evil enemies are foreign bodies or antigens commonly disguised as viruses, bacteria and even pollen. 

When the enemy (disease) is found by your army of immune cells, the method of attack depends both on the disease and on the particular immune cell.

Phagocytes, a type of white blood cell, are the front line killers and are sent to engulf, absorb, or eat the enemy invaders. Phagocytes make the enemy disappear by consuming the dead cells and play an important role in allowing the war wounds to heal.

Lymphocytes, second in command, attack and destroy the disease enemy by creating antibodies and tag the cell with an antigen to be attacked later should there be another enemy invasion.

After defeating a particular disease, the lymphocytes will keep a profile of the enemy and remember the disease throughout your life. Should it appear again, they will quickly eliminate it.

The memory effect of immune cells is the premise behind vaccines. A vaccine injects weakened antigens into the body so your immune system can practice remembering and attacking this weakened form of defense.

Vaccines are effective because whenever the same type of enemy disease enter your body; your immune system draws upon its memory to send out second in command lymphocyte soldiers to quickly defeat it. At some point, though, the soldiers are replaced and the profile isn’t passed down. It’s like your immune system gets a bit of dementia and forgets about the antigen. Vaccines are not life long!

In addition to quality sleep, reducing stress levels and exercising, there are certain micronutrients that can help your army of immune fighters. Unfortunately, there is not one single vitamin or mineral; contrary to popular belief that will strengthen your immune system so drowning yourself in Vitamin C this winter won’t work.

Vitamin A plays a key role in production of white blood cells, vital for fighting off infection. Vitamin A foods include carrots, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin C can help boost the immune system, particularly in endurance athletes and those undergoing physical stress. Vitamin C foods include chilies, guavas, bell peppers, broccoli, papayas, and strawberries.

Zinc, among other immune functions, is necessary for the creation and activation of lymphocytes. Zinc has also been shown to help alleviate symptoms of the common cold, and may even accelerate the time to recover. High zinc foods include Oysters, wheat germ, sesame , pumpkin seeds and squash seeds, peanuts, and dark chocolate.

Vitamin D. Vitamin D, which is produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight, signals an antimicrobial response to bacteria. Foods high in vitamin D are white mushrooms, cod liver oil, fish, Oysters and eggs. Vitamin D is fat-soluble which means you need fat to absorb it.

Probiotics Beneficial bacteria have a lifelong, powerful effect on your gut's immune system and your systemic immune system as well.  The bacteria play a crucial role in the development and operation of the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract.  They also aid in the production of antibodies to pathogens.

Friday, 22 May 2015 11:45

Energy Boosting Foods

To get and remain healthy, we need to make it a priority, for good health is a way of life that must be chosen.  Start by getting up and exercising for twenty minutes per day.  I always encourage my clients to give me ten, and by then you are usually hooked.  Start by walking and adding interval training to your walk.  For instance, walk for one minute and then pick up the pace and walk briskly for one minute, alternating about 5-8 times and then continuing with a cool down period.  If you are already exercising, I encourage you to DIAL UP the intensity!  
 
If you can chat, text or read while exercising, then PICK UP THE PACE! Make every minute count and you will see the changes! 
 
 
Following are some energy boosting ideas....
 
10 Steps to Increased Energy
 
Green Drinks– are extra energy food supplements containing energizing amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and proteins from sprouted grains. These drinks are powerful, and uplifting to keep you feeling energized all day.
 
Protein shakes or Smoothies for breakfast– balance blood sugar levels and regulate energy all day long.
 
Fresh vegetable juice, such as a combination of carrot, parsley, cilantro, celery, beet, ginger and a dash of lemon juice.
 
Get adequate sleep and rest– Be sure to take time for YOU.
 
Protein with every meal and snack to keep blood sugar levels from fluctuating.
 
Water is critical to maintaining an anabolic drive and produce optimal energy.  Drink eight to ten eight-ounce glasses each day.
 
Colourful salads and vegetables.  Raw foods aid in digestion because raw foods contain digestive enzymes, and the most colourful the food is, the higher it is in nutrients.
 
Essential Fatty Acids– especially Omega 3 is important for maintaining a good mood, and for good cognitive ability.
 
Never skip meals and don’t go too long without eating.
 
Acid forming foods like meat, alcohol, dairy, and sugar slow the metabolism and invite illness.  Balance is important.  Choose 25% acidic foods and 75% alkaline foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains.  
Our guts bare the brunt of all of our bad food and drink choices. Over time the mucous membrane in our stomachs and intestines degrades and can cause some rather unpleasant health symptoms.
 
Some of these symptoms can include:
•Bloating

•Acid Reflux

•Constipation

•Diarrhea 

•Inability To Lose Weight 

•Heart Burn

•Gas

•Frequent colds

•Sensitivities To Foods 
 
Creating optimal digestion in the body is the key to improving health and ensuring that your body is being well nourished. If you are suffering from any digestive related health symptoms give these 3 steps a try.
These 3 easy steps may seem simple to you. So simple in fact that you could easily dismiss just how powerful they are. Before you turn a blind eye and reach for an antacid or a pharmaceutical medication give them a try.  
 
CHEW. CHEW. CHEW.
Have you heard this tip before? You want to chew your food until it becomes a soupy mess in your mouth. This is especially important for proteins. Digestion starts in your mouth.
Your saliva contains special digestive enzymes that work hard to ready your digestive system to help break down the food you choose to eat so that it can be better absorbed.
In addition to the digestive enzyme amylase that gets secreted in your saliva, chewing signals to your liver to secrete bile which causes the gallbladder to contract. Your gallbladder is responsible for catching the bile to help digest fat. Without bile your body isn’t able to efficiently digest fat and can cause some painful stomach pains not to mention irregular and unfulfilling bowel movements.
SKIP THE FLUIDS.
Yes, that’s right, we are telling you to avoid drinking while you are eating. Most people only consume water at meal times, leaving them with heartburn and the uncomfortable feeling of being bloated.
Not only should you avoid drinking water at meal times, we strongly suggest skipping anything carbonated or caffeinated with your meals or snacks.
Your digestive enzymes are strong acids and fluids dilute acids. You do not want to dilute your potent digestive enzymes.
Avoid drinking 15 minutes before and 30 minutes after your meal. If you need to drink slowly sip clear fluids, but keep it to a minimum.
DE-STRESS BEFORE EATING.
Digestion is a parasympathetic nervous system function. This means that if your body is under stress that nervous system function gets shut off. While our environment has progressed and become more civilized our digestive system is still very caveman like.
When there is a stressful stimulus our bodies automatically run through a physiological stress response which shunts blood away from the stomach to support working muscles in times of stress.
This is where the common rule of don’t go swimming right after you’ve eaten or your will get a cramp came from.
The body can’t mobilize for a stress response and digest food at the same time. So if you find yourself crazed, upset or stressed out during meal times it better to choose foods easier to digest.
Shakes, soups, steamed vegetables, fruits or complex grains are your best choices. Avoid protein and fats when you are stressed out because they are harder to digest.
Create a meal time ritual where you practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing and gratitude before your meal. 
 
The most common reason I see clients is due to faulty digestion.  Most health issues start with the digestive system.
If you are having digestive system issues like the ones described above or you want to know the specific strategies to improve digestion then give me a call at 519-270-1889
Monday, 23 November 2015 17:43

Black Bean Chia Brownies

These brownies are so tasty and fudgey, no one will ever know there are black beans involved.

Ingredients:
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
3 large eggs
1/3 cup
Butter
2 tbsp of chia seeds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cane sugar
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is my favourite)
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Butter an 8-inch baking pan. Place the black beans, eggs, butter, chia seeds, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. Remove the blade and carefully stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Transfer mixture to the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, or until just set in the centre. Cool before cutting into squares.
Yield: 30-35 brownies
Serving size: 1
Calories 84, Protein 4 grams, Carbohydrates 12 grams, Total Fat 3 grams

Wednesday, 03 June 2015 13:42

Strawberry Breakfast Cookies

Yes, these are healthy enough for breakfast!  With all natural ingredients and low sugar, these protein and fibre packed cookies are a healthy option for breakfast.  Portable to eat on the go.

1 cup dates
1 large banana
3/4 cup applesauce
1 tbsp coconut nectar, maple syrup (or raw honey, not vegan)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
2 cups finely chopped fresh strawberries
2 1/2 cups of rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut shredded
5 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 tbsp cinnamon
4 tbsp vegan protein powder (I used chocolate)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Soak dates to soften and then add to banana and pulse in a food processor till soft.
In a large bowl mix together date mixture, applesauce, coconut oil and coconut nectar or maple syrup until well combined, then add the strawberries and finish mixing.
In a separate bowl mix dry ingredients. Add dry mixture to wet until combined. I used my hands, it was much easier.
Form into 2" balls and pat down to about 1/2" thick. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
I used stoneware for one and parchment lined sheet for the other. Made 23 cookies.

Friday, 29 May 2015 14:20

Maca Choco Flax Balls

This recipe is all about balancing hormones and feeling great. There are three key ingredients that work together and taste great too: Maca powder, cocoa powder and ground flax seeds. Maca has a way of using cues from the body to balance hormones, this makes it an “adaptogen”. For women, maca is all about improving testosterone and boosting the libido. Cocoa powder, or raw cacao powder if you prefer, is high in magnesium- a great relaxant for both the mind and muscles. Flax seeds are high in omega 3 (for the brain), fiber (to detoxify) and phytoestrogens (to reduce hot flashes and control belly fat).

Ingredients
¼ cup ground flax seeds
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp sesame seeds
6 large fresh medjool dates
2 tbsp dark cocoa powder or raw cacao
1 tbsp maca powder
2 tsp virgin coconut oil
Directions
1. Place the flax seeds, tahini and sesame seeds in the bowl of a high-powered blender, such as the Vitamix, and process until well combined.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Process until a ball forms. You might have to scrape down the sides.
4. Take the ball out and place on a plate.
5. Roll into smaller 1-inch balls.

Makes about 15 one inch balls

Tip: Enjoy a couple Maca Choco Flax Balls right away! For those that are left over, store them in the freezer, because once flaxseeds are ground they begin to oxidize and have a tendency to go rancid. Freezing keeps them fresh until you are ready for more.

Thursday, 20 December 2012 08:46

Hippocrates

If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. 
 
Hippocrates
Thursday, 20 December 2012 08:45

Hippocrates

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.  

Hippocrates

Thursday, 20 December 2012 08:42

Testimonial #6

 
Deanna's painstaking research about my bone density and fibromyalgia issues have led me to a consistent yet convenient regimen that has allowed me to stop taking ibuprofen on a regular basis, greatly diminish cold sore outbreaks and cure a spastic colon. Any one of these alone could be considered a monumental achievement after suffering with these for decades.  I can't undo 50+ years of bad eating habits in 2 years, but I've "come a long way, baby".  My next goal is to begin reversing my bone density loss now that my body is better able to absorb nutrients. And it's not all about vitamins and supplements.  Deanna has shown me how to eat healthier - foods that are better suited to the specific needs of my body - foods that help me rather than put an extra burden on my system.

Nancy
Altamonte Springs, Fl.