Dear ‘Vid, (a personal letter from me to you…)

A business letter usually begins with an introduction or reference to the business at hand.  This is not business; its personal.

While I’ve, thankfully, not met you personally, you have been having a profound impact on my life over the past few months. Indeed, not just my life but the lives of my loved ones, my friends, my community, and the world at large. You have made your presence known in a way I’ve never witnessed before.

I’ll admit, I’ve had my fair share of “wake-up, shake-up calls” in my lifetime so far… and in hindsight there has always been something very valuable for me to have learned from each experience, BUT your world-wide-wake-up-call is on a scale I can barely wrap my head around.  It’s as though you arrived to shine a spotlight on everything we’ve let slide, everything we hoped someone else would deal with, or anything we simply couldn’t face for whatever reason we came up with.  All the cracks in our systems are now being illuminated so that we can no longer ignore what needs repairing, rebuilding, or re-imagined anew. I can appreciate this aspect of your arrival, however, I am personally struggling to try to deal with everything all at once.

In my heart, I believe that your appearance ought to be the beginning of a grand unification of humanity. “We are all connected.”  There is nowhere on this beautiful planet of ours that one can hide from you; you’ve encased us in a net of mind-boggling proportions.

This sense of global community is perhaps something you intended.  Maybe you’ve been sitting in a quiet corner of the world, hoping humanity would sort itself out and come to the realization that we really are all in this together, although our experiences may be (and in fact ARE, there’s no denying that) VERY different.  Yet we did not have this epiphany in time and now we strive to band together in the face of a common enemy.  Did you intend to be “the enemy?” Perhaps. It’s possible you actually meant to present yourself as “the teacher,” but we didn’t view you as such, we found it difficult to unite like that.  I don’t know.  As I said, I hope that we will come together as one during this global crisis, and yet I witness daily a spreading  divisiveness… the perpetuation of an Us & Them mentality. It’s hard to watch.  I don’t think it pleases you and yet your survival may depend on it. It’s a messed up situation and my mind goes round in circles trying to make some sense of the never-ending, always-changing information about your travels, visits, and evolution.

It’s Mother’s Day today.  I’ve much to be grateful for and I actually do count my blessings every day.  Your insinuation into my world has made that practice even more poignant. I am safe at home, with my children. We are healthy. We have food, comfy beds, and hot running water.  I will never take those things for granted.  My little backyard is truly an oasis, now more than ever before.  I’ve been laid off from both jobs, but I qualified for some emergency assistance so I do not have to worry about how I will pay my bills this month.  Forced isolation has afforded me some time to study, to write, and to work in my garden at the perfect time as it is springtime, the weather is good and there is much to be done.  I am fortunate to live in a part of the world where we have easy access to the internet so I can stay in contact with those I care about while staying home.  However, I miss a lot of things from the “Before Times.” I can barely believe that refer to our lives before your arrival as The Before Times. It’s surreal and unsettling. That’s quite an achievement on your part.

I miss a lot of little things, like going to the grocery store several times a week for fresh produce and to visit my favourite cashiers.  I miss the sassy repartee with the tellers when I go to my bank.  I miss chatting & collaborating with my coworkers and the volunteers who I work with.  I miss going “treasure hunting”  with my daughter at our local thrift stores.  I miss going dancing at the clubs that host live music in town.  I miss stopping in at a local pub or restaurant on a whim. I miss spontaneous road trips, camping, and family get-togethers.  I miss having my friends over for a girls-night.  I miss, more than anything, spending time with my most-favourite person… we’ve had a few, properly distanced visits over the past few months which I love, but the physical distance we respectfully maintain feels like its miles wide compared to what I’m used to.  Yet, because of you, we do this as we have many in our lives we want to keep safe – many seniors as well as people with compromised immune systems.  We feel perfectly fine, but you’ve made it known that you can hide within the healthy just as easily as in the obviously infected, so we respect the requests from our medical experts (whom you keep on their toes daily if not hourly with your chameleon-like changeability) to keep our physical distance.  It is hard to do.  It sucks. Right now, I really really hate it… but we are doing it to keep others safe.

I understand that it is most likely that at some point, each of us on this beautiful planet we call home will get to know you personally.  For some, the encounter will barely go noticed.  For others, it will be devastating; life altering.  I am not in denial that physical distancing now will prevent you from reaching almost every one of us.  But I am keeping my distance so that the impact will be less overwhelming to those of us in our healthcare system.  With that said, I am desperately tired of all this separation.  I am sorry to have ever heard your name. I am doing my best to learn what I can from your arrival in our collective lives so that I can take something from this experience.  I will not be sorry to see you go.

Don’t let the door hit you on your way out…

It’s Cold Season! Arrrgh! What Can You Do?

Oh, the dreaded common cold. There are lots of natural ways to keep your body and immune system strong throughout the year. Things like nutrition/foods, lifestyle, and habits.

 

But, getting sick is still a possibility.  I’m living this RIGHT NOW! Everyone around me was sick in December and I did fantastic at following tips 1-5 below to help keep my immune system strong and then… I had 3 consecutive terrible sleeps where I was woken up multiple times (for multiple reasons) and that is likely what did me in.  Something my clients know about me is that I know how much proper sleep affects all aspects of our wellbeing and keeping the common cold at bay is definitely one of them. I’ve been following tips 6 & 7 for the past week and this cold is definitely on its way out!  WooHoo!

 

I wanted to share with you my best tips to help you prevent getting sick, and how to recover quickly… naturally.

 

Plus, I have a recipe for a natural cough remedy, free of drug store medications.

 

I’m Sick.  What Can I Do (Naturally)?

 

Getting a common cold doesn’t have to be so… common. There are things you can do naturally to make getting sick less likely.

 

But, if you do happen to get sick, there are things you can also do to help support your body to fight it off.

 

Good hand hygiene and overall healthy habits can reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place. And good nutrition can help your immune system fight off a cold quicker. Imagine your germ-fighting immune cells all hungry and tired, versus them being nourished and full of energy.

 

And that’s what this post is all about.

 

First I’ll give you some tips to reduce your risk of getting sick in the first place. Then, I’ll let you in on some of my strategies to recover from that cold you may still get from time to time.

 

Natural tips to reduce your risk of sickness

 

Here are some great ideas to incorporate into your daily life to reduce your risk of getting sick.

1 – Wash your hands. A lot. Your hands can trap and transport all kinds of microbes that cause sickness. And I’m not just talking about colds here, but lots of different germs.

 

NOTE: Antibacterial soap is not recommended! Not only is it no more effective than regular soap and water, but it can contribute to antibiotic resistance.

 

2 – Get enough nutrients. I know this is way oversimplified, but I would be remiss to exclude it. Every cell in your body, including your immune cells, need enough of all the essential nutrients. The more nutrition you have, the better and stronger you will be, especially with vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamin A-rich foods include carrots, sweet potato, and organ meats. Vitamin C-rich foods include bell peppers and citrus. Vitamin E-rich foods include nuts, seeds, and leafy greens.

 

3 – Probiotic foods. Helping our health-promoting gut microbes with more of their probiotic friends is in order here to help keep the immune system strong. Try 1-2 servings/day of fermented foods and drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, kefir, and kombucha.

 

4 – Prebiotic foods. Feeding those friendly gut microbes their favourite foods can help them to grow and flourish. They love fibrous foods like onions, asparagus, berries, bananas, sweet potatoes, whole grains, and seeds. Aim for 2-3 servings/day.

 

5 – Get enough sleep. Did you know that our immune system cycles with our circadian system? When we sleep our immune cells produce antibodies to fight infections. Try to get at least 7 hours every single night, even when you’re feeling great.

 

 

Natural tips to recover from that sickness

 

When you do get an infection, not only do you need more nutrients to fight it off, but your body also has a harder time absorbing and using the nutrients you take in. Sometimes this is because of reduced hunger, sometimes due to gastrointestinal reasons. Either way, nourishing your body is even more important. When you do get sick, make sure you are implementing tips 1-5 plus the tips below that are crucial for getting over a common cold.

 

6 – Drink lots of fluids. Being sick can be dehydrating. Fluids like water, chicken soup, and green tea are warm, hydrating comfort drinks. Chicken soup is a source of electrolytes, especially if homemade from a real chicken with lots of vegetables. Green tea has been shown to boost some of our immune cells, and this can help to better fight off the invading germ.

 

7 – Rest and recover. When your body is fighting an infection, it’s busy working hard for your health. Give it a break and relax while you’re feeling under the weather.

 

Conclusion

 

There are lots of things we can do to stay healthy and reduce infections naturally. Washing your hands is a proven way to reduce your risk. And staying healthy in all other ways helps a lot. Getting enough nutrition, eating probiotic and prebiotic foods, and getting enough sleep are key year round.

 

If you do get sick, keep up all of your good habits above, and make sure to add some warm, healthy fluids, and extra rest.

 

What do you do when you get sick? Let me know in the comments below.

 

Recipe (Throat soothing): Honey Lemon Ginger Cough Drops

½ cup honey
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp freshly grated ginger root

Instructions

Put ingredients into a small saucepan.

 

Stir frequently until it becomes foamy. Be careful because the honey can burn easily.

 

Remove from heat and continue to stir until the foam reduces.

 

Put the saucepan back on the heat.

 

Repeat this until a candy thermometer reads 300F.

 

Drop a bit into a glass of ice water. If the mixture forms a hard, crunchy ball, it’s ready! If not, keep stirring and heating for another minute or two and try with the ice water again.

 

Once a hard ball forms from a drop into the ice water, let the saucepan cool until the foam has reduced.

 

Drizzle the candy into a candy mold or onto oiled parchment paper.

 

Let cool at room temperature until the cough drops are hard.

 

Pop out of the mold or break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.

Tip: You can sprinkle them with vitamin C powder to keep them from sticking together.

 

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References:

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/what-to-eat-when-sick

 

https://www.thepaleomom.com/natural-approaches-to-cold-flu-season/

 

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-the-common-cold-with-probiotics/

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dExiRwh-DQ

 

http://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/

When did I know…?

Recently I was asked “When did you know you wanted to be a wellness coach?” Hmmm, well I’ve always loved helping others, both my grandmas taught me about herbs & healing, I’ve practiced yoga since I was 9 and realized at an early age how our bodies, minds, and emotions are connected and all play a part in our overall health… but WHEN did I know I wanted to do this as my vocation? It took me awhile to remember, I’ve been a yoga teacher for 6 years now, I’ve practiced various healing arts for much longer but the calling to tie my knowledge together as a wellness coach came just a couple years ago. What prompted me to do this was something I didn’t think much of at the time but having been asked the question I realize now how important it was.

I’d gone to a new studio to take a yoga class where the students didn’t know I was a teacher. It was a challenging class but there were all levels of students there including some beginners. As everyone was leaving, I overheard a mom say to her friend “I thought yoga would help me relax after dealing with the kids all day, but I really suck at it so I guess I can’t do it.”

I didn’t know her, and still being a relatively new teacher I didn’t feel confident in approaching her but now I wish I had. She absolutely could’ve done yoga to help her stress levels, to help strengthen & relax her body, but she hadn’t found the right class for her (she likely went along because her friend was going) and it discouraged her and made her feel as though she wasn’t good at it. I realized that as much as I could help my yoga students in class, there were many others who might not get to a class where we could connect. I realized that as a wellness coach, I might have the opportunity to help someone, like that mom, with mindset challenges & setting goals. That was my “when” moment!

Now as a yoga teacher, my students are very familiar with my insistence that “there is a form of yoga for everybody AND every body,” and I take the same approach towards my wellness coaching. There are basic foundations of wellness that we can put in place and build from, taking into consideration what someone’s goals are. I never want someone to feel like they can’t do it simply because they couldn’t do something they read about or that their friend did. I want everyone to realize that they can always take actions that will move them towards their wellness goals. Mindset matters!

We are all made from the same stuff, but we are each of us put together a bit differently.

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Why Am I Still Hungry When I JUST Finished Eating?

If you often feel hungry after eating, it could be the specific food you ate. Did you know that some foods have been proven to help keep you feeling fuller longer? And others stop you from feeling even as full as plain white bread?

 

Today I’m diving into what’s known as the satiety index. It’s a measurement of how full food makes you feel. This is great to know if you want to stave off some of those hunger feelings and cravings.

 

Plus, I’m betting you’ll be surprised at the one food that ranks top of the list. The one, super common, but often bland, food that can help keep you fuller longer. But don’t worry, I have a very un-bland recipe that you are sure to enjoy.

 

What is the Satiety Index?

 

Have you ever notice that some foods keep you feeling full longer? And others give you the munchies an hour later? That can make the advice to “stop eating when you feel full” a bit tricky if you’re picking foods that aren’t filling.

 

That’s a phenomenon called satiety. It’s the feeling of fullness, of being satisfied and satiated. It’s is the opposite of hunger and appetite.

 

The satiety index is a rating of foods that have been tested for the satiating effect in a 240 calorie (1,000 kJ) portion size. The scale scores foods based on whether people feel extremely hungry, hungry, semi-hungry, no feeling, semi-satisfied, satisfied, or extremely satisfied. Similarly to the glycemic index, the response to white bread was set to be 100. Foods that are more filling have numbers higher than 100. Foods that are less filling have numbers lower than 100.

 

Characteristics of foods with a high satiety index

There are a few common characteristics of highly satiating foods.

 

  • Foods that are more filling (i.e., have a high satiety index) tend to have more protein. Protein is considered to be more filling than either carbohydrates or fats.
  • They also tend to have more fibre. Because fibre is not digested, it provides bulk. This bulk tends to help you feel full longer because it slows down emptying of the stomach and digestion time.
  • Highly satiating foods tend to have more volume for the same amount of calories; this means they tend to take up more space with water or air.
  • They tend to have less fat.
  • Highly satiating foods are also generally whole and less processed.

 

If you think about the feeling of fullness, it makes you not want to eat at that moment. It wards off the feeling of hunger. Eating more foods that have a higher satiety index are more filling, and therefore can help you to eat less overall.

 

This is one strategy to use if you feel hungry all the time, or if you’re trying to lose weight.

 

What foods keep you feeling full for longer?

 

Some foods that score higher than white bread (100) on the satiety index are:

  • Boiled potatoes (323);
  • Fish (225);
  • Oatmeal/Porridge (209);
  • Oranges (202);
  • Apples (197);
  • Brown rice pasta (188);
  • Beef steak (176);
  • Baked beans (168);
  • Eggs (150);

 

Some foods that score lower than white bread (100) on the satiety index are:

  • Ice cream (96);
  • Chips (91);
  • Yogurt (88);
  • Peanuts (84);
  • Mars bar (70:
  • Doughnuts (68);
  • Cake (65);
  • Croissant (47).

 

If you want to feel full and more satiated, then choose foods from the first list that score more than 100.

 

Conclusion

 

The satiety index is a measure of how filling and satisfying food makes you feel. The higher the score, the fuller you feel. Eating foods that score higher on the satiety index can help reduce food intake.

 

Foods that are very satisfying (satiating) tend to be protein-rich, fibre-rich, lower in fat, whole, less processed foods. Things like boiled potatoes, fish, oats, fruit, meat, and legumes.

 

Foods that are not very satiating tend to be higher in carbohydrates, fat, and are more processed; things like ice cream, chips, doughnuts, cakes, and croissants.

 

If you want to feel full longer, then choose more foods that are highly satiating and fewer foods that are not.

 

Recipe (Highly satiating): Not your average boiled potatoes

Serves 6-8

 

2 lbs mini potatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup vegetable stock

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp fresh chives (or 1 tsp dried)

1 tbsp fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)

½ tbsp fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)

OR

2 tbsp fresh dill

 

Instructions

In large pot place potatoes, garlic, stock, salt & pepper. Cover and bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

 

Check for doneness by piercing gently with a fork. Add more water if needed.

When done toss with herbs.

 

Serve & enjoy!

 

Tip: You can drizzle with a touch of olive oil if you like.

 

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References:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satiety_value

 

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-incredibly-filling-foods#section1

 

http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-you-can-eat-a-lot-of

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/15701207_A_Satiety_Index_of_common_foods

Permission To…

Make no mistake, being a mom is the BEST gig I’ve ever had. It’s also, without a doubt, the TOUGHEST gig I’ve ever had!

 

I never really know what each day in my mom-life is going to look like. I like to have a basic vision, but the reality is that stuff happens and just when I think I am totally rocking it something hits me from out of nowhere and I find myself floundering for a bit.  It’s never for very long, but honestly, in that moment it feels like FOREVER.

 

Maybe you can relate?  I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.  All I know is that every now and again I have to give myself Permission To…

  • Cry in the parking lot in my car (yes, that was me this week)
  • Go to bed early.
  • Feed the kids “emergency food” for dinner (meaning whatever is in the cupboard/fridge that doesn’t require cooking)
  • Call a friend who understands and just let it all out.
  • Eat comfort food for all 3 main meals in one day (that would be my baked potato meals, lol!)
  • Get into pj’s as soon I get home, curl up on the couch and do whatever work needs doing from my laptop there while watching/listening to a sappy movie.
  • Cuddle with Dharma (my most awesome kitty-cat!).

 

We don’t have to be PERFECT.  In fact, I have very strong views on the use and concept of the word PERFECT which I’ll share with you in a future blog-post.  Allow yourself to feel the feelings when things go awry – obviously try to do that in a way that is not super disruptive to work/school if at all possible, but let yourself experience them so you can process them.

 

I’d love to know how you cope when your mom-life feels like it is going off the rails.  There’s strength in sharing. Remember, we’re all in this together!

 

Always from the Heart

– Jennifer

 

 

 

 

That Turnaround Moment

Remember that time when…?

I sure do!  One of my biggest #momfails happened when my kids were quite young, maybe 4 & 6 years old.  It was just before Christmas.  I wasn’t allowed to spend much on Christmas (yes, I just said that… “not allowed”  and it still makes me cringe when I think about it, but that’s a story for another day!)  I’d been hoping we would all go to town as a family a couple days before Christmas, that the kids’ dad would distract them while I picked up the few gifts I’d wanted to give them and buy some special treats for our holiday dinner on the 25th.  I’d put all my eggs in that basket so to speak and I’ll give you one guess what happened – you got it!  My shopping trip for all of our seasonal celebration items was a bust.

Three days before Christmas we all got the flu – it was a rough one!  We were all violently ill for 48 hours.  I was able to get myself down to the drugstore and the dollar store in our village on Christmas Eve to get some stocking stuffers for the kids to enjoy in the morning, but our nice Christmas dinner was not going to happen.  We didn’t even have a tree so we cut a small one down off the edge of our yard and put some old decorations and pipe-cleaner ornaments on it.  (I still have those pipe-cleaner ornaments we made and the kids & I put them on our tree every year!)

I was upset with myself for not planning ahead.  I couldn’t believe I’d left everything to the last minute.  I was too ill and weak to do any baking for Christmas… not even shortbread cookies!  It wasn’t what I’d hoped for but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.  The kids were so good about it too.  We’d always had very low-key holiday celebrations so it really wasn’t too different for them at that young age.  They were actually kind of stoked because they got to have pizza on Christmas which for a 4 & 6 year old was pretty cool, lol!  It all worked out, honestly, they only remember that they had pizza they don’t even remember being sick or just a few stocking stuffers. I played games with the kids, we watched our favourite Christmas shows, and we got cozy around the woodstove and enjoyed our Hot Cinnamons with marshmallows (like Hot Chocolate only made with cinnamon spice instead of cocoa).  I love my kids so much!  I’ve always been able to explain things to them and they are so understanding.  And above all, whatever happens, the three of us take time to find something to be grateful for when things are not going smoothly to help us keep our perspective.

So, how did the Mom who didn’t have anything really ready for Christmas move forward from all that?  Well, I made sure that I planned ahead the next year.  And the year after that.  And every year since!  NO WAY was I ever going to get caught up like that again. I literally create a Countdown to Christmas List every November. I not only make sure that I have as much ready as possible ahead of time (like by December 20th), but I also space it out over several weeks to help take the stress out of the season and to lessen the financial burden by spreading it out instead of doing it all in one go.  My list is my seasonal lifeline!  Out of my disastrous Christmas all those years ago, a brilliant, easy plan was formed and it serves me well every year.  Just call me the Christmas Phoenix who rose from the ashes – Merry & Bright!

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Eating Away at Inflammation

Inflammation. It’s not just for health headlines.

 

It’s a fact.

 

Scientists are measuring levels of inflammation in our bodies and finding that it can be pretty bad for our health; this is especially true when it’s chronic (i.e. lasts a long time).

 

Inflammation has been linked to obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes, just to name a few.

 

But, instead of writing all about what it is, how it’s measured, and where it comes from; why don’t I focus on some foods packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants that are proven to help reduce it?

 

Here are my top anti-inflammatory food recommendations:

 

Anti-inflammatory Food #1: Berries, Grapes, and Cherries

 

Why save the best for last? Perhaps the most amazingly delicious anti-inflammatory foods are a sweet favourite of yours?

 

Berries, grapes, and cherries are packed with fiber, and antioxidant vitamins (e.g. vitamin C) and minerals (e.g. manganese).

 

Oh, and did I forget to mention their phytochemicals (phyto=plant)? Yes, many antioxidants such as “anthocyanins” and “resveratrol”  are found in these small and delicious fruits.

 

In fact, berries, grapes, and cherries may be the best dietary sources of these amazingly healthy compounds.

 

Anti-inflammatory Food #2: Broccoli and Peppers

Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that contains the antioxidant “sulforaphane.” This anti-inflammatory compound is associated with reduced risk of heart disease and cancer.

 

Bell peppers, on the other hand, are one of the best sources of the antioxidants vitamin C and quercetin.

Just make sure to choose red peppers over the other colours.  Peppers that are any other colour are not fully ripe and won’t have the same anti-inflammatory effect.

 

I pack these two super-healthy vegetables together in this week’s recipe (see below).

 

Anti-inflammatory Food #3: Healthy Fats (avocado, olive oil, fatty fish)

 

Fat can be terribly inflammatory (hello: “trans” fats), neutral (hello: saturated fats), or anti-inflammatory (hello: “omega-3s), this is why choosing the right fats is so important for your health.

 

The best anti-inflammatory fats are the unsaturated ones, including omega-3s. These are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.

 

Opt for fresh avocados, extra virgin olive oil, small fish (e.g. sardines and mackerel), and wild fish (e.g. salmon). Oh and don’t forget the omega-3 seeds like chia, hemp, and flax.

 

Anti-inflammatory Food #4: Green Tea

 

Green tea contains the anti-inflammatory compound called “epigallocatechin-3-gallate”, otherwise known as EGCG.

 

EGCG is linked to reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, and Alzheimer’s.

 

Drinking steeped green tea is great, but have you tried matcha green tea? It’s thought to contain even higher levels of antioxidants than regular green tea. WooHoo!!!

 

Anti-inflammatory Food #5 – Turmeric

Would a list of anti-inflammatory foods be complete without the amazing spice turmeric?

 

Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin.

 

This compound has been shown to reduce the pain of arthritis, as well as have anti-cancer and anti-diabetes properties.

 

I’ve added it to the broccoli and pepper recipe below for a 1-2-3 punch, to kick that inflammation.

 

Anti-inflammatory Food #6: Dark Chocolate

 

Ok, ok. This *may* be slightly more decadent than my #1 pick of berries, grapes, and cherries.

 

Dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa is packed with anti-inflammatory antioxidants (namely “flavonols”). These reduce the risk of heart disease by keeping your arteries healthy. They’ve even been shown to prevent “neuro-inflammation” (inflammation of the brain and nerves). Reducing neuro-inflammation may help with long-term memory, and reduce the risk of dementia and stroke.

 

Make sure you avoid the sugary “candy bars.” You already know those aren’t going to be anti-inflammatory!  I love my chocolate treats super dark, slightly bitter & barely sweet!

 

Conclusion

 

There are just so many amazingly delicious and nutritious anti-inflammatory foods you can choose. They range from colourful berries, vegetables, and spices, to healthy fats, and even cocoa.

 

You have so many reasons to add anti-inflammatory foods to your diet to get your daily dose of “anti-inflammation.”

 

Recipe (Broccoli, Pepper, Turmeric): Anti-inflammatory Quinoa

Serves 2

 

¾ cup dry quinoa (pre-rinsed)

2 tbsp coconut oil1 medium onion, diced1 bell pepper, chopped1 dash salt½ tbsp turmeric1 dash black pepper

2 cups broccoli, chopped

In a saucepan place 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the quinoa and simmer until the water is absorbed (about 10-15 minutes).

 

Melt coconut oil in a skillet. Add diced onions, turmeric, pepper and salt, and lightly sauté for a few minutes.

 

Add broccoli and lightly sauté for 5-6 minutes, until it becomes softened.

 

Add the cooked quinoa and stir everything together.

 

Serve & enjoy!

 

Tip: Add some cayenne pepper or curry spice for an extra spicy kick.

 

 

 

References:

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/13-anti-inflammatory-foods/

 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4717884/

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-green-tea/

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/matcha-green-tea/

 

http://neurotrition.ca/blog/brain-food-essentials-cacao

 

http://leesaklich.com/foods-vs-supps/foods-vs-supplements-the-turmeric-edition/

Feeling the Burn… Eating, Activity, & Heartburn

Heartburn – Can I Help it with Foods and Lifestyle?

 

The odds are that you or someone you know experiences heartburn. Around half of North American adults experience it at least once per month. Somewhere between 10-20% have it at least once per week!Heartburn, also known as reflux, occurs when the strong acid in your stomach creeps up into your esophagus.

 

It can feel like a burning sensation; hence the name “heartburn.” Other common symptoms include bloating, burping, difficulty swallowing, or a sore throat. Often there is a bitter or sour taste as well.Don’t get me wrong, stomach acid is good! Stomach acid is essential for good health and optimal digestion.

 

We need the acid in our stomach to protect us against harmful microbes (i.e. bacteria) that lurk in our food and drinks. Stomach acid also helps us break down our food, and digest nutrients. But we need that acid to stay in the stomach, and not get up to our esophagus!

 

Stomach acid doesn’t usually burn the stomach itself; this is because the stomach is protected by a layer of mucus.

 

But your esophagus doesn’t have that same protection. It has a valve that is supposed to prevent things from going the wrong way (i.e. keep food, drink, and acid down; not allow it back up). And when your esophagus is exposed to stomach acid too often, it can cause the infamous burning, inflammation, and other potential issues.

 

I’m going to share a bunch of tips that may help you overcome your heartburn symptoms naturally.Of course, if symptoms last for a long time, or get worse, it’s probably a good idea to see your doctor.

 

Tip #1 – Foods to eat (and avoid)


You may notice that when you eat or drink certain things, you get heartburn soon afterward. These triggers may be different for everyone; but often include onions, garlic, chocolate, citrus, tomato, mint, spicy foods, greasy foods, coffee, carbonated drinks, or alcohol. If any of these affect you, reduce them or even try cutting them out to see if it makes a difference.

 

Heartburn might also result from a sneaky food intolerance. Try eliminating grains, dairy, and processed foods for a few weeks and see if that helps.

Now, you may be wondering: “If I eliminate these foods/drinks, then what can I put in their place?”

 

Try increasing fiber intake. Yes, this means more whole, unprocessed foods, especially veggies! In fact, potatoes may be a great addition to meals if you suffer from heartburn. Try getting at least five servings of veggies every day.

 

Tip #2 – How and when to eat

Eat slowly. Use meal times to release stress. Chew your food very well. Don’t eat meals that are too big.

And don’t eat too close to bedtime. You want to avoid lying down with a full stomach. We’re talking finishing eating 2-3 hours before lying down, so schedule your dinner or snack with this in mind.

Tip #3 – Lifestyle techniques

 

Sometimes strenuous exercise can make heartburn symptoms worse. If this happens to you, then focus on low-intensity exercises like walking and cycling.

 

If symptoms come on as you’re lying down to sleep, try adding a pillow or two so your head is a bit higher than your stomach.

 

Another interesting tip is to try sleeping on your left side. Lying on your left side works because the valve that prevents the acid from “leaking” into your esophagus is located on the right side of the stomach. So, when you’re lying on your left, the acid is away from that valve.

 

Conclusion

 

Heartburn is a very common condition where stomach acid creeps up into the esophagus (where it’s not supposed to be).

 

If you suffer from symptoms of heartburn, there are many things you can do. There are foods and drinks to avoid and veggies to increase. You can eat slower, chew more thoroughly, and don’t lie down within 2-3 hours of eating. Also, try low-intensity exercise and sleeping on your left side.

 

Try these simple, natural strategies. They can help prevent or relieve heartburn symptoms for you.

 

Recipe (Not Too Greasy or Spicy): Baked Potatoes

Serves 4

1 small bag of mini potatoes

4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

Instructions

 

Scrub potatoes and boil them until they’re soft. How long will depend on their size, so check them by feeling how easily they’re penetrated with a fork or knife.

 

Drain the water and toss the potatoes with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Place in a roasting dish at 425F for about 15 minutes.

 

Serve & enjoy!

 

Tip: Don’t have mini potatoes? Use large potatoes or sweet potatoes and chop them to the size of mini potatoes.

 

 

 

References:

 

https://www.dietvsdisease.org/get-rid-acid-reflux/

 

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/heartburn-reflux-gerd

 

https://authoritynutrition.com/heartburn-acid-reflux-remedies/

Finding Stability… with my blood sugar!

How Do I Keep My Blood Sugar Stable?

 

Oh, the words “blood sugar.”

 

Does it conjure up visions of restrictive eating, diabetes medications, or insulin injections?

 

Blood sugar is the measure of the amount of sugar in your blood. You need the right balance of sugar in your blood to fuel your brain and muscles.

 

The thing is, it can fluctuate. A lot.

 

This fluctuation is the natural balance between things that increase it; and things that decrease it. When you eat food with sugars or starches (“carbs”), then your digestive system absorbs sugar into your blood. When carbs are ingested and broken down into simple sugars, your body keeps blood sugar levels stable by secreting insulin. Insulin allows excess sugar to get it out of your bloodstream and into your muscle cells and other tissues for energy Continue reading “Finding Stability… with my blood sugar!”

Burnt-Out-Mom Syndrome and Adrenal Fatigue

Let’s face it, life can get super busy more often than not.  We’ve got a lot on our plates most of the time and can end up feeling like we are barely able to balance it all.  Fatigue, cravings, inability to sleep, and mood swings are REAL!

And common.

 

Adrenal fatigue is thought to be one of the (many) health issues that can be attributed to our high-stress lifestyles.

 

However, because there is no widely accepted definitive test for adrenal fatigue, it’s still quite controversial.

 

Let’s dive into what we know about adrenal fatigue, and learn some ways to deal with it, including a non-food recipe (at the bottom). Continue reading “Burnt-Out-Mom Syndrome and Adrenal Fatigue”

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