Deanna

Monday, 09 August 2021 17:45

The Link Between Hormones and Belly Fat

The Link Between Hormones and Belly Fat
What is Belly Fat? 
The stomach muscle covers the entire midsection of the body and connects to the pelvis. If you have a pad of excess fat covering the muscle, it is known as belly fat and is called visceral fat. Visceral fat, or belly fat, extends deep into your abdomen and is close to your internal organs, such as the heart, stomach, and liver.
Visceral fat is different from subcutaneous fat which lies just under the skin and is far more dangerous. It is made up of large fat cells that can grow bigger with time, and firmly pack into the spaces between the organs, having a negative effect on how they function. This can have a serious effect on your health.
It is not only fat people who have belly fat but there are also factors that show that thin people get it as well. Basically, though, we all need some belly fat to cushion our organs in case of a bump or fall. It is only when it is alarmingly expanded that we need to take action!
What Causes Belly Fat?
There are many causes of belly fat, most of them directly related to diet and lifestyle. Here are some of the dietary reasons for the increase in belly fat:
• Excessive intake of sugary and refined foods such as cakes, candies, sweets, rolls, and cookies. 
• Nutrient-poor processed foods and carbohydrates which are not able to be processed by the liver, are stored as fat in your fat cells.
• Heavy alcohol consumption is linked to excess belly fat.
• Inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle play a huge part in obesity, including the dangerous belly fat.
Embracing a healthy eating plan can help prevent belly fat from developing, and fat-burning foods like nuts, eggs, lean meat, peppers, leafy greens, legumes, and whole grains.
How Hormones are Linked to Belly Fat
Extra belly fat can indicate an imbalance in the following hormones:
Cortisol
Cortisol is a hormone which is essential to survival. It is produced in the adrenal glands and dictates how energy is used, control of blood pressure, and promotes the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It also helps the body mount a response to stressful situations. Undue stress results in an over-production in response to the stress, which leads to cravings for sugary, fatty comfort foods. This extra food is stored as fat, especially around the abdomen.
Estrogen
Too much estrogen is a major cause of belly fat, and studies have shown that affects both men and women. Excess abdominal fat in men increases the conversion of testosterone to estrogen, and as the estrogen levels rise, the belly fat increases. 
This gives rise to a vicious circle as testosterone levels drop lower than normal, leading to increased stress, increased cortisol production, more cravings, and more belly fat.
The Dangers of Belly Fat
Researchers at the American Diabetes Association revealed that visceral fat is just not there in an inactive state. It, in fact, produces toxins, among which are chemicals called cytokines, which increase your risk of heart disease. The cytokines also make the system less sensitive to insulin, which could lead to the development of diabetes.
Studies at the Massachusetts General Hospital reported that visceral, or belly fat, is one of five components of a metabolic syndrome which increases the risk of the following conditions:
• Stroke and heart disease. 
• Brain problems such as depression and dementia.
• High blood pressure and possible hardening of the arteries.
• Promotes the development of triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood. 
• Leads to poor blood sugar control which can lead to diabetes.
• Causes inflammation in the body which increases the chances of falling prey to diseases.
• The inflammation may also aggravate arthritis, and lead to other bone problems.
Some ways to help combat belly fat
• Get your stress levels as low as possible. Stress may lead to a spike in blood sugar, which promotes insulin resistance.
• Get more exercise. Exercise is crucial to help combat belly fat, so commit to regular exercise to reduce the size of your midriff.
• Cut out refined, acidic foods. The extra acid in your system which cannot be metabolized will be deposited in your fat cells.
• Cut down eating saturated fats which are found in fatty red meats, bacon sausages, processed meats, and cheeses. Opt for lean cuts of meat, skinless chicken, and fish such as salmon, trout, tuna, and hake which are rich in omega 3.
• Eat some good fats because research has shown that not all fats are bad, and adding some good fats to your diet, helps the body burn bad fat. Some foods containing healthy fats include avocado, olives, walnuts, and fatty fish. 
• Drink less alcohol which is high in calories and sugar, and leads to fat gain, often shows in the middle and waist area.
Banishing belly fat will be good for many things.
Excessive, unsightly belly fat may also have a detrimental effect on your self-confidence, and as well as your self-esteem. Looking good again can help rebuild positive feelings about yourself. But the most important benefit will be the restoration of good health and a major improvement in your general feeling of well-being.
Nip increasing belly fat in the bud by dealing with stress to prevent the super-production of the stress hormone, cortisol which is the major culprit in the development of belly fat.
References: 
Harvard Medical School – Massachusetts General Hospital. 
www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-belly-fat
www.dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-lose-bellyfat 
www.doctoroz.com/article/reset-your-hormones-beat-belly-fat  
After being cooped up all winter long, the warm weather brings us outside to enjoy the sunshine. The warmer weather also brings pollen, which can leave you feeling uncomfortable. If you've tried all of the over-the-counter tricks to no avail, give these natural approaches a chance to fight those allergies for you.  
Here's how to handle those troublesome allergy symptoms and embrace this season's full-bloom.
Practice an ounce of prevention
Did you know wearing sunglasses helps with lessening your exposure to allergens? The sun is finally shining bright, so you're likely already tossing those sunglasses in your bag. Make sure you wear them as often as possible to lower the allergens getting into your eyes. I'm sure you're a hand-washing pro after the year we've had, but continue that on into spring as well. Washing those allergens off of your hands before they have the chance to get into your eyes, nose, or mouth will help to bypass some symptoms before they even start. 
Monday, 26 April 2021 20:26

Spring Cleaning Your Life

Spring cleaning isn't just for the home and physical space we occupy. You can also take that same idea and bring it into your entire life -- your mental space, your energy, your thoughts, and more. Infusing the exciting rebirth of spring into all areas of your life leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated for the new season. Here are a few practical ways you can do this. 
1. Start with the physical realm
To give your mental space a little spring cleaning, you need your surroundings to feel clean and fresh again. Clearing away the clutter surrounding you will give your mind a big sigh of relief. It's incredible how much mental space our surroundings occupy. Remove things you don't like, repair anything broken, and add something fresh like some new houseplants or flowers to refresh your spirit.
Saturday, 28 November 2020 20:56

DIY Hummus Recipes: Fall/Winter Edition

DIY Hummus Recipes: Fall/Winter Edition
During the autumn and winter months and throughout the Holiday season, having friends and family over is one of these seasons' best parts. You may love coming up with what will be on the menu, or it may send you into a spiral of confusion. Whichever way you lean, there's one thing that is simple, delicious, and never disappoints -- hummus. 
Hummus is a healthy dip for fresh, raw veggies, crackers, and can even be a great companion for a dollop of flavour on your meal. You can feel good about serving hummus because it's packed with protein, fibre, and antioxidants, and with how versatile it is, it leaves you with many options. 
Before you swing by the store and grab it ready-made, you may want to think about making your own hummus to impress everyone at the table. Hummus might seem exotic, but it requires very little work. In its most basic form, hummus uses chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and olive oil. How you season it from there varies, but there is great potential to go beyond basic hummus and get even more creative.
A way to experiment with this is by creating a hummus bar at your next gathering or even a hummus tasting plate with several varieties of hummus to enjoy. Want to make hummus that's unique for fall and winter flavours? Try these ideas.
- Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus
This one will take a little more time, but it's so worth it. You'll need to roast your butternut squash and some garlic first. Then you can add them to your food processor with fresh minced garlic, chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, parsley, and salt and pepper. To give this a more wintery feel, add cinnamon and cumin. Finish with a touch of smoked paprika.
- Savoury Pumpkin Hummus
Another one that will require some oven-roasting first is pumpkin hummus. Once the pumpkin has been roasted, you'll add it to your food processor with chickpeas, minced garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, ground cumin, salt, and a little water to get it into a nice, creamy texture. Toasted pumpkin seeds make a perfect garnish.
- Beet Hummus
Beets are so bright and cheery, perfect for that red holiday look. You can roast them yourself or buy them ready to go. Add the beets, garlic, olive oil, chickpeas, lemon juice, fresh rosemary, salt, pepper, and a couple of tablespoons of water to even out the texture. With some roasted almonds and fresh rosemary sprigs, it will have that wow-factor on your table.  
- Sweet Potato Hummus
Try a savoury spin on your sweet potatoes for a winning snack treat this holiday season. You can even cheat by using your microwave for cooking your sweet potato. Once it's ready, blend it with your can of chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, a chipotle pepper, and a couple of tablespoons of water for that creamy texture. Drizzle olive oil on top before serving, and it's ready to be enjoyed.
You can also make regular hummus to contrast with these flavours and see which one everyone gobbles up the fastest. Serving any of these with fresh veggies such as carrots, celery, bell pepper, jicama, broccoli, or snow peas is a fantastic way to get healthy veggies on the table people easily will be excited to pile on their plates. 
Thursday, 20 August 2020 14:26

7 Ways to Love Avocado

If you love avocados, you're in luck! With every serving of this fruit (yes, it's technically a fruit), you get about 20 different vitamins and minerals. There's potassium for regulated blood pressure, lutein for healthy eyes, and folate, which helps cellular repair and can additionally help build brain development in growing fetuses of pregnant women. 
Then there's the B vitamins for warding away infections and illnesses, vitamins C and E, loads of fiber, and phytochemicals that could help avert illness. In short, avocados are one tasty superfood you shouldn't be shy about eating.
Yes, they are high in fat, but avocados have good fat (that's monounsaturated), which lowers bad cholesterol. I'm sure you've had your fair share of guacamole and avocado toast -- but what else CAN you do with avocados in your meals? 
Here are 7 suggestions to enjoy avocados and their health benefits in new ways!
1. Use them in a smoothie
Instead of yogurt for a dairy-free option, they can add a rich and creamy consistency for a vegan-friendly start to the day.
2. Make sushi
Avocados are used in many different sushi rolls - the versatility is amazing. If you eat fish, get sushi-grade fish or use crab to make California rolls. There are plenty of meat-free options, too! Get creative with it. Even just using avocado in your sushi will make for a tasty light snack or meal at any time.
3. Add it to salad
Fresh avocado slices on salads are a great way to use your avocado bounty. Try something southwest style or Asian-inspired. It's even amazing with watermelon, believe it or not. 
4. Try a rice bowl
Whether it's brown rice or cauliflower rice, jazzing up a dish with a garnish of avocado pulls the whole thing together.
5. Wrap it up
Rice paper wraps are a no-cook, no-fuss way to make a light lunch or dinner. You can fill them with fresh shrimp, cilantro, basil, strips of bell peppers, carrots, and avocados and serve it with a great dipping sauce. Not in an Asian-fusion mood? Use low-carb wraps to make it sandwich-style, stuffed with spinach, sprouts, and other crunchy goodies from the produce section to complement that smooth texture of avocado.
6. Turn them into fries
Avocado fries are a sublime experience, but I must warn you -- you'll want to eat the whole batch yourself! They're great for sharing and ideal with a homemade dip. To lighten them up, use your air fryer or bake them. 
7. Have avocado for dessert
Because of its thick and creamy texture, avocado can be blended with cacao powder to make a rich and divine pudding. Even the kids won't realize this dessert is good for them. 
What are your favourite ways to eat avocado? Hit reply and let me know.
Appropriate portion size is one of the main ingredients in having a balanced relationship with food. Over time, our portion sizes have grown exponentially, and so have our health issues as a nation. What used to be a typical portion size when eating out is now considered a kids meal -- but with some practice, getting your portion sizes in check is simple and rewarding. 
There are a few tricks I like to use to make sure I'm not going overboard on portion sizes -- I especially keep these in mind during the holiday season when we're indulging a bit more. These tips don't restrict what you eat but help you stay mindful about how you're eating. 
Serve yourself on smaller plates
One of the quickest ways to cut your portions down is to change your plating. I regularly use a salad plate as my main plate for meals -- and filling a salad plate is more along the lines of a healthy portion. This also tricks your eyes, since you're filling the whole smaller plate instead of using a large dinner plate and leaving a good bit of white space. 
Know which foods get more real estate on your plate
In addition to eating larger portions than we should in general, we're often allocating more space for the wrong things. Your vegetables or salad ideally will take up half your plate. Your protein of choice can allocate for a quarter of your plate, and any complex carbs can fill the other quarter. 
Read labels
While eating whole, fresh foods is always best, there are times when we use sauces, dressings, and pantry staples to prepare our meals. If you make a habit of reading the labels, you'll know how much is in each serving to avoid those serving-size traps.  I like to stay mindful of this when using packaged items to supplement my meals. 
Don't forget to stay mindful when you dine out
It's nice to get takeout sometimes or go out to dinner with people you adore. However, the meals you get in restaurants tend to be double the size or even more than a reasonable portion. You have a few options here. If you're ordering takeout for yourself, ask the restaurant to split the portion and enjoy the rest the next day. You can also split an entrée with someone else, or order an appetizer and small salad as your meal.  For me personally, I find that picking a delicious appetizer with a small side salad does the trick perfectly. 
If you still feel hungry, make sure you're keeping your hydration in check. That's another reason why we tend to overeat. When you look for ways to keep portions to their true sizes and eat the right kinds of foods, you will start seeing the results you've been working towards.
Get my High Protein Diet Meal Plan for only $27 + hst, its loaded with 52 protein rich recipes to help you  balance your plate and your blood sugar.
Wednesday, 03 June 2020 13:13

Thermography Clinic Tuesday September 21

Thermography Clinic September 21, 2021

Digital Infrared Thermographic Imaging, or more commonly known as Thermography, is a non-invasive test using an infrared camera to measure and pinpoint abnormal thermal changes within the body. The camera gauges body tissue heat energy that is then reflected on a high-speed computer for imaging. Generally, problem areas show high temperatures due to increased blood flow and increased metabolic activity.
The recording of these thermal patterns of the body is used to aid in diagnosing and/or monitor inflammation, pain, or illness in any part of the body. Unlike more familiar medical tests such as X-rays, mammograms or ultrasounds, and MRIs, which are tests of anatomy or structure, Thermography is a test of physiology. Thermal changes are often the earliest sign of vascular disease, immune dysfunction, and systemic inflammation. To the individual, Thermography can help visualize pain and inflammation and give a red flag warning to areas of concern whether or not symptoms are actually present.
The scan is harmless, non-invasive, has no radiation, is economical, medically approved technology, and requires only a minimal amount of your time.
If your car isn't already covered in a layer of pollen, it's only a matter of time.  Spring is here, along with the sneezing and watery eyes that accompany it. It's a small price to pay for warmer weather and gorgeous blooms everywhere -- but it can still be quite the annoyance if you don't keep your allergy symptoms under control. 
Thankfully, there are natural ways to ease your spring allergies that are simple to find and can bring you the relief you seek.
- Try apple cider vinegar
It's a remedy as old as time, one that really works. Apple Cider Vinegar with The Mother can assist with a host of issues, and by helping to lower inflammation in the body, it can help to quell some spring allergy symptoms that are nagging at you. 
- Make nettle leaf tea
As a natural antihistamine, nettle leaf is quite effective in blocking your histamine production. You can mix it with other herbs, like peppermint leaf, for added benefits. Take a stroll down the tea aisle next time you visit your supermarket and find a nettle leaf tea to try out.
- Restore the good bacteria in your gut
The gut has been shown to have a link to your immunity. Allergies often come about when there's a lack of balance in your gut microbiome. It could be that your good gut bacteria population is dwindling and needs a boost. Choose probiotic-rich foods such as high-quality yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, or drink kefir or kombucha daily to get your probiotics on and restore order in your gut.  Aside from eating probiotic-rich foods, find a high-quality probiotic supplement that can help you restore your microbiome. 
- Use local honey
When you buy honey that is made locally, the bees are taking pollen from the native plants in your area. That means your body starts adapting to those same allergens that have you sneeze when you see that thick blanket of pollen on your car. Make sure the honey is raw and unprocessed. You'll find local stuff at your farmer's market or health food store. Take a teaspoon of it twice a day, ideally a month before allergy season getting into full swing.
- Seek out anti-inflammatory foods
Often, the answer lies in the foods we eat. Put more fresh herbs and spices into your meals, like ginger, for example, and you'll help soothe inflammation before it has you sneezing. Green tea is another effective option, plus it gives you plenty of antioxidants which boost your health all around.
With these natural ways to ease spring allergies, you'll hopefully be able to stop and smell the roses more often.  Do you generally struggle with spring allergies?  If so, what do you typically due to kick your symptoms? Send me an email and let me know. I'd love to hear what works for you!
Friday, 28 February 2020 19:26

Cowboy Cookies

- Inspired by Danielle Walker's Recipe in Eat What you Love
6 tbsp hot water
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup butter, coconut oil, palm shortening or a combination
2/3 cup raw honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup raw cane sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup arrowroot flour
7 tbsp coconut flour
4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is dairy free)
Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a small bowl mix the ground flax and water and set aside.
Place the coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 2-5 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, add the butter, coconut oil and use a hand mixer to beat until creamy.  Add in the honey, sugar, vanilla and flax mixture and blend until combined.
Add the almond flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt and beat for again until combined.
Add the toasted coconut flakes, chocolate chips and fold together until incorporated.
Form the dough into 24 golf ball sized balls and place them on two baking sheets lined with parchment, or use stoneware.  
Bake one sheet at a time for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
Cool for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Can be stored up to 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container, or the freezer for 6 months.
*The second time I baked these at 400 F for 10 minutes.
Wednesday, 26 February 2020 16:58

Waste Less Food With These Simple Tips

According to the EPA, 38.1 million tons of food waste was created in 2017. it's hard even to imagine how much 1 ton of food is, but 38.1 tons is unfathomable. Food waste is a problem for several reasons, and we can take small steps each day to do our part in lessening that number.

While you're throwing away your hard-earned money on food you didn't eat, you're also contributing to the methane emissions and adding to your carbon footprint. Food waste will inevitably happen, but there are several helpful tips to keep it at a minimum. Try these handy tips on how to waste less food and be better for the environment in the process.
- Plan your meals
This might be obvious, but the key factor so many of us forget when planning our weekly shopping list is how many times we'll use the ingredients called for in a recipe. Putting quantities on your list helps you avoid buying too much. It also will save you extra trips to the store when you realize you didn't buy enough.