There is no doubt that stress is a major factor in our overall health and well-being. But could it also be making you fat? Cortisol is a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that when in balance aids in blood pressure control, reduces inflammation and supports our ability to adapt during stressful situations. However, when cortisol is secreted on a long term basis, it can adversely affect our health and lead to increased visceral or belly fat. High levels of the stress hormone cortisol can also disrupt blood sugar balance, increase cravings and disrupt estrogen and progesterone balance. Adaptogenic herbs are a unique class of healing plants that can help balance, restore and protect the body especially during times of long term chronic stress. Rhodiola is an herb that been around for thousands of years and has been long known for its ability to regulate blood sugar and enhance the transport of serotonin into the brain. When combined with Relora, it can have a positive effect on stress related fatigue, food cravings and provides a sense of satiety. Satiet-ease is a professional formula that combines these two powerful herbs that support healthy body fat distribution, positive mood, physical and emotional well-being.
Canada's Dara Howell took Gold in freestyle skiing in Sochi last week. But when it comes to our digestion, slow and steady wins the race. Much of the reason for poor digestion is how we eat. We eat too fast. Our digestive system relies heavily on digestive enzymes which begin in our mouth. When we chew, we secrete saliva and amylase the enzyme that helps to break down carbohydrates. This is just the start of a journey through our gastrointestinal tract, the tube that begins at the mouth and ends at the rectum. I often say “our stomachs do not have teeth,” and our digestive system relies on us to chew our food well into a pulp. When we take our time to chew thoroughly and avoid drinking iced beverages with our meals, we can minimize uncomfortable bloating and gas often associated with poor digestion. This can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut and poor nutrient absorption as well as constipation. At your next meal, try chewing your food at least 20 times, sip on room temperature water if needed and savour each bite. For optimal digestion, I recommend Digestive Enzymes Ultra by Pure Encaps taken during meals which helps break down food, reduces bloating, improves nutrient absorption and may alleviate constipation. The added bonus is, taking a digestive enzyme actually helps us to make more enzymes thereby speeding up metabolism and supports healthy weight loss and hormonal balance.
Pranayama, one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, can be translated as “to extend the vital life force.” it’s a practice that can have a profound effect on your health and life.
Simple breathing exercises can help everyone, regardless of your experience and enjoy benefits such as reduced anxiety and stress, increased focus and a more restful sleep. Here is a practice that you can try right now:
Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing
1. Hold your right thumb over your right nostril and inhale deeply through your left nostril.
2. At the peak of your inhalation, close off your left nostril with your 3rd and 4th fingers, then exhale smoothly through your right nostril.
3. After a full exhalation, inhale through the right nostril, closing it off with your right thumb at the peak of your inhalation.
4. Continue for the next few breaths, following the same pattern. Your breathing should be effortless, with your mind gently observing the inflow and outflow of breath.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you may be thinking about how this holiday meal will fit into your health and wellness goals. I love the holidays and especially love to eat all the yummy food that go along with it.
If you find yourself slumped into a heap on the sofa with a button undone you may be experiencing a food sensitivity or other digestive upsets. White flour and wheat do not sit well with me at all, so I have adapted this apple pie recipe to satisfy my palate and tame my tummy. You can make it ahead of time and serve with your holiday meal this Thanksgiving.
1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
1/4 tsp xanthum gum
1/2 cup large flaked oats
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup or so, water
6 apples, peeled, cored and cut into even pieces
1/2 cup honey, warmed so its liquid
3 tbsp all purpose gluten free flour
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Creamy Maple Topping:
1/2 cup greek yogurt, vanilla flavor
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make crust, whisk flour, oats, coconut sugar, salt in a large bowl. Add olive oil and combine well. Begin to add some of the 1/2 cup water until the mixture begins to form a ball. Kneed to gather up all the crumbs and bits. Add a drop or two of water if needed. Divide the dough into 2 balls evenly.
Place one ball on sheet of parchment paper and sprinkle with a bit of Gluten Free All Purpose flour. Flatten with back of hand to form a disc shape. If too crumbly - try chilling the dough for a bit. Continue to flatten and roll gently to a little larger then pie pan. Carefully lift parchment paper over pie pan and gently lay dough down to cover evenly. Form to shape using hands as needed. If it breaks apart, simply fill in the pieces by pressing together. When it bakes, it all comes together nicely.
Repeat same for top layer and set aside or chill until ready.
For the filling, in another bowl toss apples with flour, honey and cinnamon. Pour apple mixture into pie shell.
Carefully cover with top layer and pinch close the sides to seal using your fingers. Poke 4 vent holes in top crust for steam to escape.
Place pie on bottom rack in oven and bake for 60 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Mix together Vanilla Greek Yogurt with maple syrup and serve over warm pie. Deelish!
Whether you enjoy smoothies for breakfast or a snack, they're a great way to increase your daily intake of fruits and vegetables.
But, depending on what ingredients they're made with, they can quickly turn into unhealthy smoothies filled with saturated fats and sugar which can add up to in calories and sabotage your health goals.
The healthiest way to enjoy a protein smoothie is to make your own so you know how much and what foods you are getting.
A good smoothie should contain a blend of protein and fiber to keep you full and provide antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Its an excellent way to avoid the 3pm crash and overeating later in the day.
Best High Protein Ingredients
- Low fat plain greek yogurt
- Organic silken or soft tofu
- 100% whey protein isolate
- fresh or frozen berries (blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, cherry)
- banana or mango, but are higher in sugar and may want to avoid if on a low glycemic or weight loss plan.
- ground flaxseed
- chia seed
Best Flavor Enhancers
- ground cinnamon
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- organic almond or coconut extract
Power Fruit Smoothie Recipe
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy beverage)
- 1 scoop 100% whey protein isolate, plain or vanilla
- 1/2 cup PC Power Fruit, frozen
- 1/3 cup chopped kale
- 1 small handful baby spinach
- 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Avoid using full fat dairy products, flavored yogurt, ice cream, canned fruit in syrup or chocolate syrup which can be loaded with calories in the form of sugar and saturated fat with little or no fiber or other nutrients.
Do you want to increase your energy? How about clearing a fuzzy mind, enjoying uninterrupted sleep and glowing skin? Spring is the ideal time to detoxify and purify your body and mind.
Our bodies have built in systems that are designed to deal with daily exposure of toxins found in our water, food, air and environment. In a perfect world our bodies would detoxify without any extra help from us.
The problem arises when there is too much toxicity that has built up with minimal toxicity being eliminated. Poor digestion and a sluggish colon combined with reduced liver function add to increased toxicity.
There are many methods to encourage detoxification, from a gentle approach to a much deeper cleanse. Detoxification programs may include dietary restrictions, herbs, vitamins, sauna, yoga or a juice fast.
Reasons for Cleansing:
• Treat disease
• Cleanse body
• Rest organs
• Weight loss
• Clear skin
• Slow aging
• Improve flexibility
• Improve fertility
• Enhance the senses
Many questions arise when thinking about detoxification programs. Where should I begin? What should I eat or avoid during this time? What can I expect to feel?
While a detoxification program can promote energy and vitality, for some if not proceeded with carefully can burden already stressed organs. It is recommended to consult with a Holistic Nutritionist who can assess your health to determine the best approach for you.
Through Live Blood Analysis, a simple non-invasive procedure, I can immediately assess toxicity levels and provide a protocol to support and cleanse your body and mind, leaving you energized and radiant.
For more information on how nutritional counseling and live blood analysis can help you, please contact me - I would love to hear from you.
It's Sunday and I am sick in bed with a cold. Pumped up on vitamin C and zinc I can just see it now, my white blood cells moving through my blood stream like Ms. Pac Man. Ok, so I am really dating myself.
There is no doubt that a strong immune system is your best defense against a cold or flu. Vitamin C, Zinc and Oregano provide excellent support to prevent and speed recovery from colds and flus.
Personally, I love Platinum Naturals Oregano 8. which has helped me get back on my yoga mat within a few days more than once. To support your immune system through cold and flu season, try 1 capsule per day for good defense.
Health and happiness,
Practicing yoga offers so many health benefits to all ages, young and old. Many have experienced improvement to their physical, emotional and spiritual health. Offen of which, spill off into their everyday lives off the mat.
For newbies, yoga may still be mysterious and even daunting. But, don't let concerns about flexiblity, fitness level or age prevent you from experiencing the powerful healing benefits of a yoga practice.
Yoga has been well documented to improve flexibility, balance, relaxation and concentration. Improved lung capacity, stress reduction and better mood have also been reported.
Here are some of the health benefits you can receive from a regular yoga practice:
- Stronger immunity
- Healthy libido
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved muscle tone
- Better eye-hand coordination
- Better memory and cognitive function
- Better circulation
For those who suffer with debilitating conditions such as arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer, migraines, asthma, COPD, and back pain, these can be managed or alleviated from a regular yoga practice. Practicing yoga in a group forges strong social bonds, and a sense of community and friendship providing psychological benefits that are an important part of overall health and longevity.
Full schedule and class locations
Congratulations detoxers on your 21 Day Detox Challenge! These past few weeks certainly have gone by fast. Hopefully you have had a chance to enjoy the beautiful fall colors and had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Cleansing is an important part of supporting our mind and bodies by decreasing toxins going in and increasing toxins going out via the lungs, skin, large intestine, liver, kidneys and lymphatic systems. The result is a feeling of lightness, mental clarity and renewed energy.
My diet has always been pretty clean, but over the last summer I had strayed and felt the effects. Throughout the cleanse, the goal was to avoid all sugar, caffeine, alcohol, white flour, cow's dairy, red meat and processed foods. These were replaced with hot lemon water with raw organic apple cider vinegar, herbal tea, whole grains, almond milk, goats milk feta, fish, nuts, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables.
I followed as best as possible but I did stray on a couple of occassions near the end. This was a great learning experience as I was able to immediately identify my food sensitities. I have narrowed down the list to: white sugar and white flour (hello pumpkin pie). Two major triggers for me that resulted in a huge brain fog and headaches.
When I was consistent in my diet and eating clean, my digestive system was happy! No more bloating, gas or any feelings of heaviness in my gut - you know when nothing seems to fit right or feel right. With an improvement in my digestive system, my energy levels also improved. The fog had lifted! I felt sharper and clearer. This feeling motivates me to continue eating clean and making positive healthy choices. After all, aren't we worth it?
Thank you to all my fellow challengers for participating and sharing in this experience. I look forward to sharing the next cleanse with you in Spring 2013!
What was your experience like? Have you noticed any changes in how you feel?
Be well and stay healthy!