Category Archives: General Health Tips
Post to make life easy. Whole 30 Challenge appropriate crock pot meals
Wow. Here’s my working agenda for the next year:
Join me, won’t you? They all work together.
Yowza. I had a major run in with some doughnuts.
I was walking down a dark alley and I was mugged by a maple glazed, one with sprinkles and a lemon creme.
In all seriousness, I was all in my head and stressing myself out over the actions of a few select people. I wanted comfort food. Doughnuts are my go-to.
It didn’t matter that I was listening to Robb Wolf Paleo podcast. It wouldn’t have mattered if there was a grizzly bear at the front door of Fray’s. I was going IN.
I bought a dozen to “share’. 2 on the way to QM’s, left her with 3. Over the course of the day at work, I scared down two more and ate nothing solid. Evy was a great help in getting rid of more, for which I am ever grateful.
Fine sleeping that night, next day – POW! Big arse sugar hangover. I have cut back on sugar most assuredly, but I still have my weekly margarita, some bread on the weekends, whatever lights my fancy really, on the weekend.
This was the first time I ever had a sugar hangover. Huge headache that wouldn’t go away. A little dizzy, you know, like I tied a big one on. Right then and there I decided to do Diane Sanfilippo’s 21 Day Sugar Detox. I had been stalking it on her website, as I have been listening to the Balanced Bites Podcast. (Find the link to the right). Obviously, this was the day to start. I had exactly 21 days until I start the Whole30 from the It Starts with Food. Sounds like kismet.
I am now on Day 10. The first few days were relatively easy as I didn’t even want to look at sugar. The only thing I really missed was my raw honey in my coffee. But I substituted Coconut Milk and Almond Milk and it is fine now that I’m on day 10. I haven’t done any of the supplements yet, mostly because I’ve been swamped and dinero is a little tight right now. We have been doing a lot of home improvement. I’m of the opinions that ottomans are more important right now. I know, duh.
But I like the detox. I have heard that when you get past 14 days everything feels a little lighter and better. I’m feeling fine, with the exception of a little weaker than normal. I tend to take a few more breaks than normal when CrossFitting or teaching yoga. But I’m hopeful that my body will soon flip the switch to fat burning instead of a sugar burn. You can read about that in It Starts with Food.
I’m hoping at the end of my 21 Days, and the end of August from my Whole 30 Challenge I will have learned MUCH better coping mechanisms.
Plan B, idea….
I purchased this about two weeks before the Thinner This Year Beta Test came up. I am already madly, truly, deeply in love with it. More my speed. I’m thinking an August First Challenge. 30 days. I REALLY have to do something soon….
You can click on the picture and it should take you right to it.
How do I start this one?
* Why wouldn’t you do it?
* How could you not do it?
* You need to do it!
I read Thinner This Year. Which is a great book. I was part of the Beta Test Group. Follow the directions in the book for six months, get to your goal weight. Pretty simple.
I couldn’t do it. Good sound nutritional advice. Almost Vegan. Which I get. But I couldn’t do it. Eat red meat once every two weeks? An egg yolk once a week? I thrive on protein. I’ve worked hard to ditch most grain/dairy/legumes (except for cheat meals) from my daily diet. I just don’t want to reintroduce grains and legumes to my diet. The TTY book recommended 50% of my diet be whole grains and legumes. I was a vegetarian for a few years and went back to eating meat because I felt so much better when I ate red meat.
So. Epic FAIL -EO. I want to be Pal-EO.
I want to lose 20 lbs. But this book just didn’t resonate with ME. I suggest reading it when it comes out. It’s good. It will change lives. But I don’t think every diet is for every person. I have no doubt I would have lost weight on the TTY program. For that I feel like big crybaby, loser. But I like the way I feel with this getting there Paleo diet that I strive for.
Next up on my reading list: It Starts with Food. It starts with Paleo for me. This book is written by the Whole 30 couple and I’m pretty excited to dig in.
How Bone Broths Support Your Adrenals, Bones and Teeth
Like supports like
Modern nutritional research continues to prove what traditional cultures learned through observation over time, when we eat a specific part of an animal, it nourishes that same part of our body.
One example of this like supports like principle can be found in Dr. Catherine Shanahanʼs book, Deep Nutrition. Dr. Shanahan explains that the highest source of available vitamin A known to man isnʼt in a carrot or broccoli, but found in the tissue in the back of the eyeball. As vitamin A is known to specifically support healthy eyesight (among many other crucial health supporting roles), it goes without saying that if we consume what Dr. Shanahan calls “those nasty bits,” we will receive the nutritional bounty contained within to support our expression of optimal health. Broths and stocks provide a very easy way to incorporate the health giving benefits of all those culturally unappealing “nasty bits” into our regular diet.
Wouldnʼt it be great if there was a type of intelligence that made it where we could eat a nutrient and have it go to a specific part of the body that needed it most? Well, there is such intelligence in nutrient-dense foods such as bone broths. This concept of an intelligence of a specific nutrient we consume to have an affinity to the same tissues within our own bodies is amazingly simple to our over-intellectualizing culture. Modern science still hasnʼt figured out how this intelligence works but they know that certain compounds have an affinity for certain tissues.
Bone Broths & Traditional Chinese Medicine
From within the traditional Chinese paradigm, bone broth nourishes our kidneys, supports our vital essence (chi), and builds blood. Who wouldnʼt benefit from another bowl of soup?
Bone tissue relates to the kidneys according to Chinese medical theory. So, given the theory of like supports like, consuming bone tissue will support the kidneys and therefore the bones (including the teeth).
The Chinese medical perspective includes the adrenals as part of the system they call the kidneys. So, bone broth directly supports adrenal function. It is recognized that the adrenals perform so many hormonal functions vital to our immune health. Adrenal fatigue is another one of those ʻelephants in the living roomʼ that so many of us in the real food movement are talking about yet remains unheard of in mainstream media.
Bone Broths and Adrenal Support
Bone broths provide the adrenal glands with the much needed nutritional support to help make the shift from survive to thrive. Dr. Shanahan even suggests that the nutritional matrix in bone broths may actually help patch the holes in the kidney tissue that cause the kidneys to function less optimally.
Massive bone support
Bone stock is rich with minerals. Isnʼt it interesting that within bone broth are the exact minerals, in the proper proportions, that our teeth are also made of? 65% of the mineral mass of bone is made up of calcium and phosphorus – the two main minerals that compose our teeth. When making bone broths we stew the bones for several hours, even days, the stock itself becomes very rich with minerals.
Itʼs interesting to note that the bones after making stock are so soft you can push your thumb nail into them. That tells you that the minerals that were in the bone are now in the bone broth.
How does this translate into stronger, healthier teeth that resist decay and even can heal from tooth decay? Well, the mechanism the body utilizes to remineralize the tooth enamel is through the saliva. Provided that the diet has sufficient minerals, the saliva will have the necessary minerals to interact with the tooth enamel to remineralize the teeth. Bone broth provides the necessary minerals in the proper, combinations, to make them available for use throughout the body. (See video Mouth Probiotics to learn more about the role saliva plays in creating greater oral health).
The reason the concept of tooth remineralization is not present in the culture at large is due to the fact that our diets, for the most part, are miserably deficient in the minerals necessary to optimize health.
Making bone stocks is an easy way to massively raise the minerals in oneʼs diet. But the benefits of bone broth go well beyond mineral content.
Fats + Minerals = Bio-available Minerals
The problem with mineral supplements is that we arenʼt what we eat. A more accurate statement is we are what we absorb from what we eat. Mineral uptake is the issue here. The good news is the fats in bone broths help restore greater gut health and therefore increase the absorption rate of the minerals present in broths. So, rather than searching through the vitamin section of your health food store, make friends with the butchers at the meat department and establish your supply for quality bones!
What is bone marrow anyway?
Bone broth also contains the bone marrow. Bone marrow is where the body manufacturers both red and white blood cells. Thus, applying the same principle of like supports like, enjoying regular bone broths will nourish our bodyʼs ability to create healthy blood within our own system.
In the Chinese paradigm, bone marrow is considered the deepest tissue of the body and contains the essence of the being. Itʼs an interesting correlation to consider that modern science has shown that within bone marrow are high concentrations of stem cells, the very organizing influences and genetic material, for the being. It is these essential nutrients that help our bodies continue to build healthy, vital constitutions and repair cellular damage.
The youth serum in bone broths.
There are a series of proteins called glycosaminoglycans (GAGs for short) that are highly concentrated in joint tissues. These GAGs are part of the tissues known as collagen. Over the past several years some GAGs, namely glucosamine, chondroitin and hyaluronic acid, have come into popularity for their documented support of joint and skin tissues. Once consumed, these nutrients go to the connective tissues of joints and other connective tissues of the body where they are needed. While the synthesized compounds like glucosamine sulfate or hydrochloride may be effective in supporting greater connective tissue health, we prefer and advocate the whole food version. After all, what beneficial compounds are still to be discovered contained within bone broth (that science hasnʼt performed clinical trials on)? So, rather than purchase the supplement, go for the bones!
How do glycosaminoglycans relate to increased oral health?
First, the connective tissue restoring capacity of GAGs helps to repair compromised gum tissue that has been damaged and stressed by the ʻbad bugsʼ that cause gum disease. Also, within the process of the breakdown of health that we know as gum disease, one of the things that happens is the bad bugs weaken and damage the ligament (connective tissue) that holds each tooth to the jaw bones, thus resulting in loose teeth and adult tooth loss.
Dr. Shanahan states,
This means that glucosamine-rich broth is a kind of youth serum, capable of rejuvenating your body, no matter what your age. After decades of skepticism, orthopedists and rheumatologists are now embracing its use in people with arthritis, recommending it to ʻovercome or possibly reverse some of the degradation that occurs with injuries or disease. (Deep Nutrition)
When you combine the facts that bone broths make any soup way more delicious, provide the much needed support for our adrenals, offer such a rich source for much needed minerals, nourish our bodyʼs ability to build healthier blood, along with care for all the connective tissues throughout our bodies, you can see why we consider bone broths to be such a foundational dietary pillar for anyone looking to navigate to greater oral health as well as create optimal system wide immunological health.
Get Started: Simple, Easy Bone Broths
10 Supermans (5 count hold)
30 Second Side Plank Right
30 Second Plank
30 Second Side Plank Left
30 Second Plank
For Time (do as fast as you can)
40 walking Lunges then 35 sit ups
35 walking lunges then 20 push ups
30 walking lunges then 25 sit ups
25 walking lunges then 10 push ups
Feeling Frisky still? Do it again or do 10 Burpees.
Posted: 24 May 2012 07:37 AM PDT
[Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Nadine Fawell who blogs at Yoga with Nadine. Check it out!]
Well, I think it is anyway. There are many, many reasons I think this: I could practically write a BOOK about the psoas.
But here’s something to think about.
When we went from walking on four legs to walking on two, we had to find a way to hold our upper bodies, well, up.
In four-legged creatures, the spine is happily suspended between front and back ends. In our case, it pokes up into the air. Our back muscles and belly muscles, and most especially our buttocks muscles had to get a whole lot stronger to hold us up that way.
We developed a gluteus maximus on each side of our butt (that muscle is just called gluteus superficialis in four legged animals). Its main job?
To hold us upright by bringing our hips into extension (backbending). That’s why it’s so big. It has to be, to defy gravity.
See, in this picture:
I am bending backwards and you can see my, erm, gluteus maximus, is working, yes?
I only look so happy, though, because I know I can contract my psoas muscles in the front of my hips to oppose the action of my butt and return me to an upright position.
The psoas is a deep muscle in the front of our hips, which hooks our spines to our thighbones.
Without the psoas, whose main job is to bring the hip into flexion (i.e., thigh closer to belly), those big-ass butt muscles would make it impossible for us to use our arms the way we do now.
Imagine doing a backbend like I am in the photo, and trying to read this post. Or do anything at your computer.
That’s right, if you didn’t have a psoas (also known as a hip flexor) on each side, you wouldn’t be able to bend your leg up against gravity, and the action of your glutes, and take a step.
This shows up in yoga postures too, of course – a tight psoas would make bending backwards like I am doing in the photo really difficult.
Plus, if you couldn’t contract your psoas to lift your leg against gravity, how else would you do Utthita Hasta Padangustasana (aka Extended Hand to Big-Toe Pose)?
That, ladies and gentlemen, is the first reason I think the psoas is the most important postural muscle. There are others, involving magic links and its action on the spine. But opposing our glutes and keeping us upright? Pretty important.
3 killer recipes to alkalise your body
Heard of the alkalising diet? It’s not really a diet…it’s a way of eating. It entails leaning towards foods that help to alkalise your body. I like to lean. As opposed to doing a violent about-face with my eating. Essentially, diseases – like cancer and AI – can’t exist in a fully alkalised system. The closer you can get to this utopic state, the better you’ll be. Simple.
Alkaline Sisters’ kale salad, recipe below
I’ve done this before, when I was 21. I had Grave’s disease at the time. After three months of eating acid-free (nothing from a can, no deadly night shades – mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes – etc), I was fixed. Seriously. I avoided radioactive iodine treatment, put on weight again and got on with my life.
This post has been updated:
Where does this sit with my eating today? And where does it fit with Paleo eating? As per my post last week, my take on Paleo eating is this: I eat a stack of vegetables – mostly greens – dairy in moderation, and eggs and meat in moderation as well. This still fits with an alkaline mentality, but is not strictly an alkaline diet. But I don’t stick to any diet, I choose my own way. The main thing I take from the alkaline diet is lots of vegetables, especially green ones, no sugar, no processed foods, no trans fats. Which is also Paleo in it’s thinking.
Why should we be alkalising our bodies?
Alkalizing or ‘balancing the pH of your body’ will provide your body with a level of nutrition that it can use to maintain optimal health.
it is vital for our survival to maintain a blood pH of 7.365
There are other varying pH levels within our body that also need to be maintained, but have greater fluctuation, like our urine. They reflect quite directly the food we consume. A poor diet is very taxing on your body as it has to constantly maintain homeostasis, which it undergoes at all times, struggling to obtain alkalizing nutrients from organs and bones thus depleting their necessary stores.
What does too much acid do to our bodies?
A prolonged acidic diet will eventually make small incremental changes to our blood, making it more acidic. Even the smallest variation in our blood = big problems. An overly acidic body provides a perfect breeding ground for bacteria & disease.
bacteria & disease, especially cancer cells, cannot thrive in an alkaline body
Immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis – which is an acid build up in the joints, an imbalance of the pH of the blood – can be relieved if not resolved.
How to eat alkaline – in a nutshell?
Enjoy lots of alkaline foods and minimize acidic ones.
80% alkaline, 20% acidic foods each day is ideal
unless you already suffer from disease, then one needs to super alkalize until you resolve the issue. Our bodies were designed to heal themselves, but can only do so when they are provided with wholesome nutrients that will nuture this process.
Is it more than just food?
Those of us who eat incredibly healthy may still lead very stressful lives, which constantly leaves our bodies in a fight or flight mode of stress. This hormonal response was designed for us to deal with sudden short occasions of stress as in our ancestors when they encountered dangerour situtations ie a bear or a tiger to tackle or run from. This fear also causes our bodies to secrete acidic fluids that then need to be balanced. Getting a handle on your stress will make a huge difference to your health.
Activities like yoga, meditation, long walks, pampering baths, quiet reading and healthy relationships is the other half of the battle in maintaining a healthy body for a life of longevity, free of disease
What are your top five tips for alkalising?
- Veggies, veggies and more veggies! Veggies are whole foods minus the extreme sugars that feed disease, and are packed with the nutrients from the soil- that are meant to be transferred to our bodies via our crops. Choose organic to be sure that you get the maximum nutrients possible, as organics pack 25% more nutrients than conventionally grown produce. Enjoy a proportion of 80% veggies either raw, lightly cooked, blended and juiced and be sure to focus on lots of green chlorphyll rich veggies that convert to greater amounts of energy!
- Low sugar fruits. Lemons, limes, grapefruit, avocados, and berries are the most ideal fruits to consume. Sugar feeds disease, so moderation is necessary to maintain health. Enjoy other fruits as an occasional treat to minimize your intake, and avoid fruit juice altogether unless freshly pressed in small quantities on occasion.
- Consume only 20% each day of acidic foods. This should represent only whole unprocessed foods including plant and organic animal protein, whole grains (preferrably sprouted), nuts, seeds, and some fruit.
- Water, water, alkaline water. By increasing your water intake each and every day you will increase all body functions that all require water in some way. If this water is pure and alkalized it will optimize these functions. Flushing toxins is vitally important and without water we can’t eliminate these properly and they become lodged and cause problems. Shoot for 3-4 litres a day, one upon waking, two between meals and one in the evening. Adding lemon will increase the alkalinity, as will a little pinch of Himalayan sea salt, if you don’t have the means to get an alkaline filter which will filter & increase the pH of your water.
- Reduce your stress and erase negative thoughts. I have to work at this daily to maintain a healthy state.
What are the biggest things we should avoid?
- Sugar. One of the most acidic things to the body is sugar. It’s a poison that kills. All sugars, even those from fruit, are recognized as sugar by the body and an excess causes disease.
- Dairy. It is highly mucous causing although it is slightly alkaline in nature. In the rare case that one could acquire raw dairy one might argue it’s benefits, but realistically we shouldn’t be drinking the milk of other animals that is meant to nuture the lives of their offspring as we don’t have the enzymes to break it down properly after about the age of 2. [please note, this is Julie’s opinion. I personally respond well to some dairy. I think it’s an individual thing – Sarah]
- Stimulants like coffee, alcohol, sodas, chocolate, sugar – these should be avoided altogether for those in a disease state and used only on occasion otherwise. It takes 32 glasses of alkaline water to balance 1 can of pop, and 8 glasses for one glass of wine, so imagine how difficult it is for our bodies to correct the imbalance when you have these.
- Processed foods. Since the introduction of processed foods in the 1950′s disease rates have been climbing steadily especially the top two fatal ones like cancer & heart disease. As tempting as they may be packaged foods are mostly poison – filled with non-food and chemicals. Do your best to only shop the outside of the grocery store and minimize your purchases of packages. Your cart should be mostly filled with veggies and whole foods. In a restaurant setting do your best to include a salad and/or veggies in your choices.
- Living in a constant state of unhappiness & stress. Only you can change your life and choosing not to improve your situation is a recipe for disease.
You mentioned lemon juice in water – isn’t lemon acidic?
Many folks misunderstand the way alkaline food affects our bodies. On the outside or our body a lemon is acidic, but once consumed it leaves an alkaline ash which supports body functions within. Adding lemon to your water, warm or room temperature is an excellent way to alkalize your body.
How can we test our system to see how alkaline we are? And what are we aiming for?
It’s quite simple. A stip of yellow litmus paper (availble at most health stores) will react with your urine and show on a scale the degree of alkalinity in your body fluid. Testing your saliva is not nearly as acurate.
average pH of around 7.0-8.0 is a good place to be. Even higher is ideal for reversing disease.
Testing your urine at varying times of the day will yield varying results. After a night of rest your body has been busy detoxing thus your first pee of the day will reflect a greater level of acidity. The second one, before ingesting food, only water, will give you a more acurate picture. Mid afternoon is a good time to measure especially after a balanced meal. Be sure to take your pH for a few days and chart it and take a look at the fluctuation to see how you are doing depending on your diet. This is an indication of how your body is correcting your pH depending on your diet.
Anything else you think we should know?
1. With an alkaline lifestyle there is no portion control or calorie counting. Just by consuming a diet with a high proportion of veggies and a small balance of acidic foods you will see pounds melt away as you nourish your body with the food it is crying for. Conversely you will gain a couple of pounds if you are under weight as the body adjusts to it’s normal healthy weight.
2. The reason cholesterol levels soar in the body is to repair the severe damage caused to the arteries by acidic blood, which scours your arterial walls like a harsh scrub with steel wool. By simply following an alkaline diet cholesterol levels have been known to drop with in days and weeks.
3. Most diseases and inflammation are caused by an acidic body. They can be reversed by alkalizing the body, and will not occur in an alkaline body. Any nasal drip in an alkaline body is a natural oriface for detoxing and is a sign that your body is highly efficient in eliminating any toxins you may be exposed to or may have ingested. This is not a cold, it is the natural detox process.
4. If you’re wanting to read some more, check out some of these articles:
- Dr. Robert O. Young, author of The pH Miracle has a site jammed with info.
- Ross over at Energize for Life has a number of blog posts that will help you.
And a few (more complex) scientific studies:
Help preserve bone and muscle mass- More evidence to Prove Alkaline lifestyle
Alkaline Minerals Prevent Cancer Growth
Diet, evolution & Aging
Alkaline Minerals Critical to Prevention of CVD
Sodium Bicarbonate Improves Swimming Performance
3 killer alkaline recipes
Kale caesar salad
- 1 very large bunch of curly Kale
- 1 cup sunflower seeds (save a few for a garnish if desired)
- 1/3 cup almond nuts, raw
- 1/8 tsp chipotle powder or to you liking – it’s spicy
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/4 filtered water
- 1 1/2 tsp agave syrup (substitute to rice malt syrup if you’re sugar free)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Wash and pat dry kale leaves, removing center membrane just up to where it thins out, tearing kale leaf into bite size pieces. Place in a very large bowl. Measure remaining ingredients into blender and combine until creamy and smooth. Pour half the mixture over the kale leaves. Using two spoons or your hands, toss kale to coat, adding remaining mixture and ensuring that leaves are coated in folds and curls,working the mixture thru the leaves really well. Allow to stand for 10 minutes to tenderize the kale leaves. Plate the greens and sprinkle with sunflower seeds if desired.
Fennel, jicama and macadamia salad
This is a super pretty salad. For the recipe, click here.
Coriander and avocado soup
A great cooling lunch. For the recipe, click here.
Have you tried alkalising? Did you notice a difference in your health?