Here’s How to Make Cooking More Fun

If you don’t love cooking, maybe I can help to make it more fun for you? I know that sometimes I don’t find cooking to be all that fun. I can get into a rut just like everyone else. So that’s why I’ve listed my best “fun” cooking tips for you. Fun Cooking Tip #1 Check out new recipes. Sometimes just seeing the beautiful food photos and reading the recipe can spark some inspiration and fun in your kitchen. You can head to your local bookstore. Or look up your favorite nutritionists, chefs, bakers, and other online foodies. Maybe do a quick search on Google or Pinterest to see thousands of new ideas. Perhaps you have some ingredients in your fridge that are just waiting to be eaten. Pro Tip: Searching through recipes can be so fun and inspiring, and can also end up taking waaaay longer than planned. So, consider setting your timer when you start browsing. The last thing you want is to take too much time looking, that you don’t leave enough time for cooking. Fun Cooking Tip #2 Make grocery shopping fun and inspiring. When you’re …

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 …

Phytic Acid, The Mineral Reducer

Do you soak or sprout your nuts, seeds, grains and legumes? Is it to help improve their digestibility? To help increase their nutrition? Perhaps, it’s to reduce phytic acid? Phytic acid is naturally present in most nuts, seeds, grains and legumes; it is the plant’s storage form of the mineral phosphorus and is used as energy when the plant starts to grow. The highest levels of phytic acid are found in rice bran, wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, and walnuts. Phytic acid and minerals Have you heard of phytic acid being referred to as an “anti-nutrient?” Phytic acid binds to the minerals iron, zinc, and calcium preventing them from being fully absorbed when eaten; this is why phytic acid is known as a “mineral reducer.” FUN FACT: Phytic acid’s effects only apply to mineral-containing foods in the current meal. Once digested, there is no mineral reduction on any future meals and there is no impact to the minerals your body has already absorbed. Phytic acid’s health benefits Phytic acid isn’t all bad – it has some health benefits too. It can act as an antioxidant. It can also help reduce …

Paleo Diet 101

You may have heard of the “paleo” diet. It was the world’s most popular diet in 2013. But what is it? Is it a fad? Is it right for you? Scientist and “Paleo Mom” Sarah Ballentyne, Ph.D. defines it as: “The Paleo diet is a nutrient-dense whole foods diet based on eating a variety of quality meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.  It improves health by providing balanced and complete nutrition while avoiding most processed and refined foods and empty calories.” The name “paleo” is from the “paleolithic” time when earlier humans (thousands of years ago) were hunters and gatherers. It is thought to represent the era of nutrition before agriculture. What you can (and can’t) eat on the paleo diet Of course, being a “diet,” paleo has food guidelines. The paleo diet was created to increase the amount of whole, unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods; while reducing the number of gut-disrupting, hormone-disrupting, and inflammatory foods. But this doesn’t mean there are only a couple of foods to choose from! There is a pretty wide variety of food to choose from in the paleo diet. You can include fruits, vegetables, …

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 Why keep my blood sugar stable? Your body wants your blood sugar to be at an optimal level. It should be high enough, so you’re not light-headed, fatigued, and irritable. It should be low enough that your body isn’t scrambling to remove excess from the blood. When blood sugar is too low, this is referred to as “hypoglycemia.” When blood …

The Stress Mess: How It Messes With Your Health

We all have some level of stress, right? It may be temporary (acute), or long-term (chronic). Acute stress usually won’t mess with your health too much. It is your body’s natural reaction to circumstances and can even be life-saving. Then, when the “threat” (a.k.a. “stressor”) is gone, the reaction subsides, and all is well. It’s the chronic stress that’s a problem. You see, your body has specific stress reactions. If these stress reactions are triggered every day or many times a day that can mess with your health. Stress (and stress hormones) can have a huge impact on your health. Let’s dive into the “stress mess.” Mess #1 – Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes Why save the best for last? Anything that increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes (both serious, chronic conditions) needs to be discussed. Stress increased the risk for heart disease and diabetes by promoting chronic inflammation, affecting your blood “thickness,” as well as how well your cells respond to insulin. Mess #2 – Immunity Did you notice that you get sick more often when you’re stressed? Maybe you get colds, cold sores, or …

July Membership Interview – Michelle Hibbert – Wellness Travel

I am happy to present an amazing interview with you this month that involves wellness, traveling and having fun!  This month I interviewed wellness & adventure travel specialist, Michelle Hibbert of Wellness Adventures Worldwide.  Michelle is originally from England and explains how she begin traveling as a young child.  Her joy for fitness and travel led to creating a business that could help people be more physically active and/or heal and recuperate. She has successfully coordinated trips that involve high intensity workouts at major fitness resorts, to meditation and yoga retreats.  She has help many people travel to beautiful get-away in the U.S. as well as overseas.  In this interview we also dig into the major differences between how Europeans view wellness and vacation time versus people in the United States.  There is a fascinating distinction and Michelle and I have a lively discussion on the topic. Don’t miss this inspiring, energetic and motivating interview. Click here to join the membership or if you are already a member – log in to watch: http://buildbodywealth.com/become-a-member/ With this membership you will get new monthly content that includes: Interviews with other health professionals …

Reduce Inflammation With These Key Foods

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 favorite 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: …

Adrenal Fatigue: What Is It?

Stressed? Tired? Craving sugar? Can’t sleep? All of these can be related to the constant stress we feel in our lives. We know that stress can have a huge impact on our health and wellness. And, since your adrenal glands produce stress hormones, adrenal fatigue (or “HPA Axis Dysregulation,”) is a popular theme lately. Your adrenal glands look like walnuts that live on top of both of your kidneys. These important glands produce many hormones, including stress hormones. But what happens when they become “overworked?” You’ve heard of “adrenaline junkies,” right? Adrenaline and cortisol are the stress hormones that give you the commonly known adrenaline rush; when you’re totally alert and living in the moment. This feeling is known as your body’s “fight or flight” response. Some people (perhaps you?) just love that intense feeling. The release of hormones in the fight or flight response is your body’s normal reaction to stress.  Stress can sometimes be positive, like when it helps you swerve and prevent a crash. After a short time, the fight or flight response dissipates, your body goes back to normal, and all is good. But what would …

The Coconut Oil Craze – Should I Jump on the Bandwagon Too?

Yes, you should (end of post). But what exactly is it about coconut oil that makes it so healthy? And which type is best? Let’s dive into some of the fascinating research and find out. Coconut oil is a special kind of fat Coconut oil is fat and contains the same 9 calories per gram as other fats. It is extracted from the “meat” of the coconut. Coconut oil is a white solid at room temperature and easily melts into a clear liquid on a hot day. The idea of adding coconut oil to your diet is NOT to add on to what you already eat but to substitute it for some of the (possibly) less healthy fats you may be eating now. And here’s why – Because not all calories or fats are created equal. Coconut oil contains a unique type of fat known as “Medium Chain Triglycerides” (MCTs). In fact, 65% of the fat in coconut oil are these MCTs. What makes MCTs unique is how your body metabolizes them; they’re easily absorbed into the bloodstream by your gut, where they go straight to the liver, and they’re …