Deanna

There are countless reasons I hear for not eating healthy foods -- a hectic day at work, no time to shop at the supermarket, not sure how to cook healthier meals, or even not being able to afford healthy food options. These are real concerns, and with a few tweaks and understanding, you can soon realize these are quite easy to fix. And best of all -- healthy food does NOT have to be more expensive.  Most of the time, it's actually the least costly option. 
Yes, it seems everywhere you turn health and wellness experts are telling you to eat more fruits and vegetables.
Tuesday, 17 December 2019 21:07

Sign up for Gratitude and Granola

This is the perfect season to focus on gratitude, and when paired with a healthy breakfast, it creates the perfect morning ritual to get you on track.   
It's no surprise that gratitude can improve your mental health and overall outlook on life, but you might not know that it has many benefits for your physical health, as well. In this guide, I'll take you through six ways gratitude improves your health -- and I'll leave you with some simple, healthy breakfast ideas to boot.  

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Fall is officially here— we can smell it in our kitchens. The smells of fall spices are undeniably comforting and delicious, but some of your favourite fall spices also have fantastic health benefits. Make sure to include these spices in your fall dishes for some brilliant flavors and extra health kicks.
1. Turmeric
Turmeric is one of the healthiest spices on the planet. It contains an active compound known as curcumin, whose long list of proven health benefits includes fighting off unhealthy cells and slowing down the signs of aging. Curcumin also contains strong anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that it is beneficial in reducing inflammation and alleviating symptoms of inflammatory diseases. As a bonus, turmeric also adds a beautiful golden color to your dishes. Make sure to add black pepper whenever you use turmeric as it significantly improves the body’s absorption of curcumin.
2. Cinnamon
This famous fall spice contains a vast number of various antioxidants. Antioxidants are key for fighting off those damaging free radicals that can cause chronic diseases. It also contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that cinnamon helps regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the primary hormone involved in blood sugar regulation. Therefore, cinnamon is a beneficial spice for individuals with insulin issues.
3. Nutmeg
You can’t have staple fall dishes, like apple and pumpkin pie or eggnog, without nutmeg. However, this powerful spice also contains many important nutrients. It is rich with manganese, copper, and magnesium, but it also contains many other essential vitamins and minerals. Some studies have shown that nutmeg can relieve pain, such as the joint pain experienced by individuals with arthritis. It is also often used as a natural remedy for insomnia because it helps you fall asleep easier and get good-quality, uninterrupted sleep.
4. Ginger
Ginger is well-known for its digestive health benefits. It is widely used for treating nausea and other digestive issues, such as an upset stomach and acid reflux. Adding ginger to your meals or making a ginger tea after a big fall feast can help your digestive system process all that food with ease. If you’re experiencing morning sickness or nausea for any other reason, ginger will provide you with relief. It also has natural anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help your body fight against infections while also controlling inflammation. 
5. Clove
Cloves are high in antioxidants, which help the body fight off disease-causing free radicals. They are also well-known for their health benefits for the liver. The liver is a powerhouse organ with many responsibilities. One of its main jobs is to break down unwanted or old molecules and prepare them for excretion from the body. However, sometimes in the process of breaking down unwanted molecules, damaging free radicals are produced as a by-product. These free radicals can build up in the liver and impair its function. Cloves and other antioxidant-rich foods can help clear away these free radicals from the liver and keep it (and you) healthy.
Need more personalized advice?  Work with Me
Thursday, 21 November 2019 20:39

How Hormones Affect Your Energy and Weight

Are willpower and self-control the real solution to low energy and high weight?
Maybe not.
It might actually be your (powerful) hormones.
And we’re not just talking about sex hormones here; we’re talking about the hormones that directly affect your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite. Things that actually control your energy and weight.
Let’s go over a few of the critical links between your hormones, and how they affect your energy and weight. The links may be stronger than you think.
WHAT ARE HORMONES
Having healthy, happy hormones is all around the “health waves” these days.  
And for good reason! Your hormones are part of the master control system of your entire body. 
Hormones are compounds made by one part of the body that are used to communicate with another part. For example, insulin is made in the pancreas. When your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released into the bloodstream. Then, it goes to your muscles and other cells to tell them to absorb that sugar out of the blood (and if there is still too much blood sugar, it signals to store it as fat).
Your hormones control not only your blood sugar, but also your metabolism and appetite (plus a host of other things). And you probably know that having healthy blood sugar, metabolism and appetite is a foundation for your optimal energy and weight.
So, how can your hormones get out of whack to zap your energy and pile up the pounds?
COMMON HORMONAL IMBALANCES
In optimal health, your hormones would work great, and you’d have ample energy and be a good healthy weight.
But often there are problems with this whole setup. One common issue is that there may be too much or too little hormone released to have the desired effect. This is known as hypo- or hyper- “hormone” (i.e. hypo- or hyperthyroidism).
Another common issue is that, even if the right amount of hormone is released, the cells they communicate with can start ignoring them. This is known as hormone “resistance” (i.e. insulin resistance).
As you can imagine, if your hormones have such critical jobs, including controlling blood sugar, metabolism and appetite, they can definitely cause issues with your energy and weight.
HORMONES AND ENERGY
Your metabolism is key for controlling your energy. Metabolism itself is basically how much energy (calories) you burn. One of the main players of this is...you guessed it! Your thyroid hormones.
Your thyroid releases hormones that affect the metabolism of all the cells in your body. If it’s too low and your metabolism goes down (hypothyroid), you may feel cold, hungry and tired. If it’s too high and your metabolism is too fast (hyperthyroid), you may feel hot, jittery and lose weight.
What you actually want is an ideal metabolism, ideal energy use, ideal temperature, and an ideal weight. Your thyroid hormones are the master controller here.
HORMONES AND WEIGHT
Your weight may be controlled by hormones more than you think! Insulin controls your blood sugar, and whether that sugar is going to be stored as fat or not. And when your blood sugar is too low, you may start craving sugar and carbs.
You also have hormones that control your appetite! How hungry and how full you feel are controlled by the hormones ghrelin & leptin. When those get out of whack, you may find yourself wanting to eat because your body thinks you’re hungry and not satisfied...even if that’s not true.
And craving food (especially sugary ones) and not feeling full are going to be huge drives for you to eat more. Even if your body doesn’t truly need it, the hormonal signals tell you that you do.
And don’t forget that stress hormone cortisol. When it’s too high for too long, it tells your body to store fat. And not just any fat - belly fat!
SUMMARY AND WHAT YOU CAN DO
Your body is very complex and uses hormones to control a huge number of functions. They control your blood sugar, metabolism, and appetite, amongst others. And these directly affect how much energy you feel, how much you weigh, and even where your body fat is stored.
Here are a few “hormone stabilizing” tips that might help you with your energy and weight:
  • Get regular exercise to use up excess blood sugar before your insulin has your body store it as fat
  • Try stress-relieving activities like deep breathing, meditation or even coloring to reduce your (belly-fat inducing) cortisol
  • Support your thyroid with iodine-containing sea vegetables, fish, legumes, or even an egg
  • Balance your blood sugar with extra fiber from raspberries, avocados, or flax seeds
  • Reduce blood sugar spikes by replacing your juice or soda with fruit-infused water
If you need some support with your energy levels and/or weight, contact me Deanna Trask RHN for a strategy session to see how I can help you.
REFERENCES
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/fast-weight-loss-changes-hunger-hormones
http://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-thyroid
https://authoritynutrition.com/9-fixes-for-weight-hormones/
Friday, 15 November 2019 18:33

Hanging at the office

Hanging at the office today in my comfy clothes sipping homemade yogi tea.

I love hanging out here as it is so cosy and warm. I have lots of plants and crystals and the energy is just fabulous. You should pop by and see me some time. I love to help women reach their health goals with nutrition, mind and body connection and sometimes supplements too. You are all unique and therefore the approach taken should be customized for you. Mainly I help women work on their digestion, balance their hormones, sleep better, have more energy and feel good in their body. It's not about a size or how much weight you can lose but what you can change today to feel more healthy and vibrant.

I don't often put my face out there but I thought perhaps maybe you would like to get to know me a little better. I love good food, good wine and good chocolate. I also love to exercise and read good books. Though they are mostly about digestion and hormones. ;) I love the beach and being on the lake in my kayak or riding my bike are my happy places. I'm not big on winter, but I'm working on it. Dee

Thursday, 07 November 2019 17:16

Are you getting enough Vitamin D?

 
Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin. It’s sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because our skin makes it when exposed to the sun. 
 
It’s also the most common nutrient deficiency! Like most vitamins, vitamin D has many functions in the body. It’s mostly known for its ability to help build strong bones. But, vitamin D is also important for a healthy immune system, digestive system, heart and mental health, blood sugar regulation, fertility, and resistance to cancer.
 
FUN FACT: Vitamin D is the vitamin with more scientific articles published since 2000 than any other vitamin.
Let’s talk about the many roles vitamin D has in promoting good health. We’ll also go over the different forms of vitamin D and what exactly is a deficiency. Finally, I’ll give you three sources of this critical nutrient and how much we should get.
 
Make sure you’re getting enough!
Wednesday, 16 October 2019 19:48

These Foods Slow your Metabolism

If your metabolism is healthy and running as it should, it burns off your calories and keeps you feeling excellent. Exercise and plenty of sleep also help your metabolism function optimally, but did you know that certain foods you eat could be sabotaging your efforts?
These foods could be slowing down that burn you count on your metabolism for to keep things running optimally. Are you consuming any of these metabolism-busters regularly? 
1. Refined grains
There's a difference between whole grains that fuel your body and refined grains. Refined grains are stripped of that necessary fibre and nutrients your body needs. These grains are refined in the interest of taste and texture, but they leave your metabolism slower. You can bypass this issue by choosing whole grains that haven't gone through the refining process. 
2. Sugary drinks
Sugar is dangerous, especially in liquid form. Sodas, energy drinks, or even sports drinks can all drag your metabolism down. If you want to make sure your efforts at the gym aren't wasted, stop drinking your calories. Save the sugar for a rare treat, like a little slice of birthday cake on your big day. It's a much better tradeoff!
3. Processed vegetable oils
They might sound healthy with names like sunflower oil or soybean oil. But these processed vegetable oils, which include canola oil, have a higher risk for heart disease. Choose coconut oil instead, which can speed up your metabolism to boot.
4. Artificial sweeteners
Perhaps the only thing worse than sugar itself is artificial sweeteners. You may think you're making a healthier choice, but choosing sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin are all linked to health issues you certainly want to avoid. They can also mess with the good bacteria in your gut, which could hinder your weight loss efforts.  Avoid artificial sweeteners -- if you need to use a sweetener, use something natural such as stevia, pure maple syrup or raw honey.
5. Non-organic produce
Organic produce might cost more, but in the end, you'll wind up spending less on healthcare by staying healthier. When you buy non-organic, you're getting more pesticides which slow down the metabolism, not to mention cause high insulin levels and glucose intolerance.  Organic produce is so readily available now that it isn't much more expensive than conventional items.  Take a look at the 2019 Clean Fifteen/Dirty Dozen list to see the items you should always buy organic, and the ones you can opt to buy conventionally. 
6. Granola
It seems like a healthy choice, but the granola you find in your supermarket often contains hidden sugars and added ingredients that don't do you any favours. When you take in more sugar than you think, you cause an overload known as leptin resistance. This makes you hungrier while slowing that metabolism to a crawl. If you love granola, you can make your own by selecting fresh seeds, nuts, and oats to enjoy the taste and get true health benefits.
Now that you know what foods might be doing your metabolism in cut them from your diet. If it's hard to rid soda from your life, start weaning until you no longer crave it. Replace it with water flavoured with fresh fruits, and you'll be on your way to looking and feeling better from the inside out! 
Deanna Trask RHN
Holistic Nutritionist
Serving Owen Sound, Grey Bruce as well as across Canada via my online telehealth portal.
I will help you discover the right foods to eat for your body to balance your blood sugar and hormones.  We will uncover the issues that are standing in the way to your increased health such as Digestive Issues and Food Sensitivities, Adrenal and Thyroid issues as well as Auto-Immune issues.
Wednesday, 16 October 2019 18:21

Top 10 Ways to Curb Over Eating

The key to successful weight control is learning to listen to your body’s cues. You want to eat when you feel hungry, but not famished. Feeling overly hungry can trigger overeating. The following tips can help you get in touch with the signs of hunger and satiety to prevent overeating:

1. Stick to a schedule - Plan to eat every three to four hours, stopping after dinner.

2. Include lean protein - Protein-rich foods such as lean meat, fish, poultry, egg whites, tofu, and legumes help you feel full longer because they require more time to digest and absorb than other nutrients. Divide your protein intake among three meals and two snacks. Protein-rich snack choices include nuts, soy nuts, edamame, hard-boiled eggs, part-skim cheese, yogurt and/or a protein bar.

3. Don’t skip protein at breakfast - Research suggests that eating lean protein in the morning keeps you satisfied longer than if eaten at other times of the day.

4. Choose low-glycemic foods - Avoid refined (white) and sugary foods. These are high-glycemic foods that cause blood glucose and insulin levels to spike after eating. In response to excess insulin, blood glucose levels drop more quickly over the next few hours, which can trigger hunger and overeating. Low-glycemic foods are more slowly digested and help keep hunger at bay. They include beans, lentils, nuts, pasta, brown rice, sweet potatoes, steel-cut or large-flake oatmeal, oat bran, Red River cereal, 100% bran cereals, yogurt, milk, unflavored soy milk, apples, oranges, peaches, pears, and berries.

5. Add grapefruit - People who eat grapefruit have significantly lower levels of insulin after eating which was thought to control hunger.

6. Spice up meals - Capsaicin, the component that gives red chili peppers their heat, can reduce hunger and increase calorie burning. Adding cayenne pepper to meals was effective at reducing appetite for fatty, salty and sweet foods, especially among people who did not consume it regularly.

7. Chew sugarless gum - A recent study found that chewing gum for one hour in the morning helped participants eat fewer calories at lunch. Chewing stimulates nerves in the jaw connected to the brain region that regulates satiety. 

8. Slow down - It takes roughly 20 minutes for appetite-related hormones to kick in and tell your brain you’ve had enough food. After every bite, put down your knife and fork, chew thoroughly and sip water. Do not pick up your utensils until your mouth is empty.

9. Savour your food and ban distractions - Eating in front of the television, while reading, or while driving leads to mindless eating. Reserve the kitchen or dining-room table for meals and pay attention to the delicious flavors and aromas in your meal.

10. Rate your hunger - Determine how hungry – or satisfied – you feel before you eat, halfway through a meal, and after you finish. Stop eating when you feel about 70% full.

Practice Mindful Eating.

Think you might need some guidance?  Work with me

Deanna Trask RHN  Holistic Nutritionist Owen Sound

I help women eliminate the obstacles to healthy and lasting weight loss.  When you know what to eat to balance your hormones and your blood sugar, weight loss happens fast.  You will gain more energy and you will sleep better too.  Your digestion will improve and you will have more energy to do the things you love.  You will also get rid of the stubborn belly fat that comes with years of imbalanced hormones.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 18:02

Pumpkin Spice Coffee

When that first autumn chill is in the air, one of my favourite ways to warm up is with a pumpkin spiced latte. No, not the kind you get at Starbucks that's loaded with sugar. There's actually an incredibly simple way to make your own at home, without all the sugar. It'll make your kitchen smell like pumpkin pie, and warm you from the inside out with the grounding spices. It's a win-win, and I can't wait for you to try it! If you just want pumpkin spiced coffee (no latte), it's as simple as adding your favourite coffee to your coffee machine and sprinkling pumpkin pie spice into your coffee grounds. Start with 1/2 teaspoon at first and increase to your taste level. Brew the coffee with the pumpkin pie spice in the basket with your coffee grounds. If you'd like to make a latte out of it, use your handheld milk frother to froth almond milk. Pour over your freshly brewed coffee, sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice, and enjoy.